We asked some of our AMAZING Mills & Boon authors to share their writing tips and advice for aspiring authors entering our LOVE TO WRITE competition.
For Love To Write, we’ve partnered with Love Island 2019 winner, Amber Rose Gill to find new romance writers from under-represented ethnic backgrounds.
The winner will receive a book contract, a grant and a mentorship with an editor!
- Read like a writer! I learn craft best when I study how my favourite authors introduce internal and external conflict, pace their characterisation, and pull out the best emotional tension from climatic scenes. Jot down what scenes make you sigh, laugh, cry, and/or gasp in shock and clutch your pearls the most!
Hana’s debut is Second Chance to Wear His Ring, August 2021, True Love
- I recommend doing at least a slim outline. It doesn’t have to be perfect (although I do sometimes drool over Pinterest outlines and resolve to one day actually fill one out), but having an idea of where your story is going can help guide not only the plot but your characters’ development.
- Read! This is the best way to get acquainted with who you’re wanting to write for. I try to read at least one release from Harlequin/Mills & Boon a month. Bonus: there are so many good stories available!
Emmy’s debut is His Billion-Dollar Takeover Temptation, June 2021, Modern
- Always finish the book. A messy rough draft is better than an unfinished manuscript every time.
- Listen to your book. You can use the read aloud function or read it to yourself. You catch so many errors that mere proofreading won’t.
- And, Debby Giusti gave me this last piece of great advice: Edit your book from the end to the beginning, last chapter to the first chapter. I’ve discovered many plot inconsistencies this way.
Jeanine’s debut is The Highlander’s Secret Son, on sale May 2021, Historical
- Writing is a solitary art, but succeeding as an author is only possible with a cheerleading squad, so find beta readers, chapter groups, associations to help you improve as a writer, support you in your journey.
- Joining the Romantic Novelists Association was also instrumental in my success. It gave me opportunities in training and contacts, that I would never have had on my own.
- Lastly, write what you love and keep writing. Very few people get their first book published but plenty of people get their second, third, or even their hundredth book published. It can happen! Don’t give up!
Lucy’s debut is The Viking Chief’s Marriage Alliance, May 2021, Historical
- Lots of writing guides out there will share this because it works! On days when the words just won’t come and you’ve lost faith in yourself, free write. Set a timer for ten minutes and write whatever comes into your head. It could be a stream of consciousness that reads like complete nonsense, and that’s fine. Whatever it is, just keep going until that timer goes off. It will get those creative juices flowing again. You may even find a nugget or two comes out of it. I’ve had lines of snappy dialogue or whole scenes reveal themselves. It’s my absolute go-to when I’m struggling. In fact, I use it on days when everything is going well, too, because it helps me to develop my writing skills – and it’s fun! What’s not to love?
Julieanne’s debut is Desert Prince’s Defiant Bride, January 2022, Modern
Lotte R. James
- There is beauty in the bad. Don’t let the fear of not writing well, stop you from writing.
Lotte’s debut is The Housekeeper of Thornhallow Hall, July 2021, Historical
- It was only when I began to treat my characters as real people, not being embarrassed to talk about them, and their hopes and dreams, that I felt my writing really started to take shape. Dig deep and get into your character’s head and imagine how they’re feeling and how they’d behave. When you do this, almost like acting out a play on a stage, the dialogue starts to flow and the story begins to write itself.
- Never give up! Dreams do come true.
Sarah Rodi’s debut is The Viking’s Stolen Princess, November 2021
- Working from home? Set a timer for one hour and use that time to write without guilt. I set my Alexa timer for one hour, put the washer on, and then write guilt free! Amazing what you can add to a book each day just from one hour.
- Read. Any writer knows that you have to refill the creative well. Read anything and everything you fancy. Learn from the masters, and discover your own writing voice.
- Competitions are key! Flex those writing muscles, enter the Mills & Boon Blitzes for excellent feedback and to practice submitting what a publisher wants, in the way they want it submitted. Don’t let a rejection happen because you haven’t followed the guidelines. Let your writing shine instead!
- Don’t give up. Don’t listen to anyone but the voice in your head telling you that you can do this. You only need one yes!
Rachel Dove’s debut is Fighting for the Trauma Doc’s Heart in August 2020, Medical
- Remember that your journey is unique to you, and everyone’s looks different. What works for others may work differently for you, and cultivating your individual writing process is just as important as the work you produce. Embrace flexibility, try different things. If it’s working for you, then it’s right!
Jadesola’s debut is Redeemed by His New York Cinderella, September 2021, Modern
We hope this advice helps you with your writing. Remember, if you wish to enter LOVE TO WRITE, the competition deadline is October 4th. Enter here.