On Writing and Reading…
|PRINCE VORONOV'S VIRGIN on a shelf near me!|
Describe the ultimate romantic meal.
- You don’t have a lot of room for backstory. Start in the middle of the action and feed backstory into the narrative in small bites. The reader only needs enough to know what’s driving the story now and who the characters are as people.
- Emotion, emotion, emotion. A Harlequin Presents, most specifically, is about the emotional conflict between the characters. External conflict is secondary. It’s what brings the characters together in the first place, but the emotional conflict is what drives the story. For example, in my latest book, THE DEVIL’S HEART, what brings the characters together in the first place is a diamond. Each of them believes they are the true owner. That’s the external plot. The internal is what drives the story. Marcos and Francesca were married once before and Marcos abandoned Francesca on their wedding night. These two have a past together! Lots of emotion there. Of course there’s more to the story than that, but this is a very basic demonstration of external versus internal.
- Setting. Setting is very important in a Harlequin Presents simply because it sets the exotic and glamorous tone. But this can be a dangerous place to put in too much information or to showcase all the research you did. Here is the opening to my June book, BEHIND THE PALACE WALLS (this book is also known as PRINCE VORONOV’S VIRGIN, and was out in the UK in January):
And this is what BEHIND THE PALACE WALLS is about: