#WritingChallenge! Update the Meet-Cute

by Deirdre

WritingChallenge imageHow do your hero and heroine meet? We see a lot of “literally bumped into each other” in Harlequin submissions. The hero rounds a corner and bumps into the heroine on the sidewalk. Or the heroine spins on her heel in the office and slams into her new boss – the hero.

There’s an understandable appeal to the “literally bumps into the hero” meet: the scene is set for conflict and physical attraction right away. But it’s hard to hook an editor with this trope, simply because we’ve seen it so many times. So how can you make your hero/heroine meet-cute new? Well, how do people actually meet?


Your challenge this week: Update the meet-cute by including an aspect of modern social interaction such as social media (Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook) online dating or dating apps (Tinder, OK Cupid, Match.com) or other online apps (Airbnb, Uber or just texting!)

Set the scene (approximately 300 words maximum) for us in a lively way using dialogue, texts, tweets, posts or description. Just make sure you jump into the action as quickly as possible to hook the reader.

As Senior Executive Editor Birgit Davis-Todd says in her blog post about making your book relatable, “the language, the characters and the plot all must feel as if they are part of the world we live in today.” (How many of you are reading this on your phone or tablet right now? ;))

Ready for the challenge? Post your meet-cute scene in the comments any time between now and Sunday November 27, and we’ll check in with you on Monday!