Advice from the Archives: Your Harlequin Heroine

This week’s Advice from the Archives harks back to the New Voices competition in 2011 and takes a look at your harlequin heroine. We hope you enjoy this little gem, its short, sweet and sure to help you add that extra sparkle to your character… 

So you know who your Mr Right is – but when it comes to a Harlequin heroine, who is Miss Right?

We often think of the heroes when we think of what defines Harlequin books, and why not? They are all drop-dead gorgeous after all!

But just as important as the hero is our heroine – because it’s through her that we live the romance and fall in love with our hero. But who is the heroine? What do readers look for? Here are our top tips on creating and writing a great romantic heroine.

  • First off, she should be a woman that today’s readers can step into the shoes of and identify with. And this means all around the world – so make her widely appealing and engaging. You can do this by giving her a relatable emotional conflict and situation in life. You should ensure that readers globally can connect with her.
  • It’s vital that readers really like the heroine from the get-go – she’s someone whom you would want to call your friend and aspire to be like. But don’t fall into the trap of making her too nice! She has to be realistic and this means having flaws just like the rest of us! The heroine doesn’t have to be perfect, just a perfect match for your hero!
  • When it comes to her relationship with the hero, do give her a backbone – yes she might be swept away by the hero but she mustn’t be overshadowed by him! She still needs to show her strength of character and come alive on the page as much as him.
  • As with the hero, make sure your heroine goes on a journey. We want to see the heroine grow as a fully rounded character and develop over the story as her relationship with the hero develops.

So, think about which type of heroine will bring out the best in your hero because we’d love to meet her!

And in the mean time to get the ball rolling, we want to know some of your favorite heroines? Or what are the problems your facing with your current heroine? Maybe we can help? Don’t forget, you can always email and we’ll answer your query on the next ‘Dear Editor’ feature!

Happy writing! 🙂