So with submissions officially open for #TemptedToWrite, we thought we’d pick the brains of Modern Tempted editor (and competition judge!) Flo Nicoll!
We asked Flo for her best advice when writing your #TemptedToWrite short story. Here’s what she said:
1 Start with a bang, not a whimper! Throw us straight into the action so we’re hooked right from the start!
2 Get your hero and heroine on the page together asap – how can we be captivated by their sizzle if we don’t get a chance to see it?
3 Keep those heroines strong – these women don’t need a man to rescue them, but having one will certainly make the journey more fun!
4 The hero must sweep the reader (as well as the heroine!) off her feet!
5 Make sure to give your characters flaws – there’s nobody harder to identify with than a ‘perfect’ character. (Being too nice/ too generous doesn’t count – we’re talking actual proper flaws here!)
6 Know your characters inside out and back to front – their deepest hopes, dreams and fears, everything that has shaped them into the people we meet on the page. This is how you will make them real, and avoid the trap of cliché.
7 Ensure there are emotionally motivated, believable barriers to a relationship between your hero and heroine to begin with – if there’s no conflict, there’s no story!
8 Keep secondary characters to a minimum – they’re useful to show different dimensions to your hero and heroine, and further the central relationship, but don’t let them take over.
9 Keep that dialogue flowing – it’s hands down the best way to establish spark and unique character.
10 It’s fine to explore familiar themes in your romance writing, but always think about how you can put a fresh new twist on them – give your readers something they’ve never read before!
To join in the #TemptedToWrite fun, visit our Facebook page for more information.
All short story submissions must be received by 9am (GMT) Monday 10th February 2014.
You can tweet Flo at @flonicoll – go on!