Friday, January 31, 2014


Welcome to, Kate Nash who has come along to tell us about writing drama and romance for Pulse.

Romantic suspense is a well known sub genre of romantic fiction but actually at Pulse we are open to any kind of romantic stories with a dramatic quality to the writing. What do we mean by dramatic writing? The simplest answer is stories that read like television or film. If you story is full of action and suspense but also has well developed characters with convincing character problems to solve, as well as of course thrilling romance, then perhaps it's a story for Pulse.
We're looking to publish stories that are lean and fast paced, full of action and dialogue. They can feature a central developing romance or can feature more than one romance plot line. Alternatively they can feature high stakes drama as the primary plot and a developing romance as a secondary plot line. They should be written from the point of view of the central characters.
Dramatic writing is the mainstay of the crime and thriller genre but romances of all kinds can also be dramatic reads. For contemporary romances we're looking for writers writing for today's world: we want to see communication by email and text message and storylines that involve contemporary problems. We would love to see stories involving dramatic occupations such as the emergency services but office romances can be dramatic too in they are packed for example with emotional drama such as Chrissie Loveday's A Computer Guy for Christmas which we published this Christmas. Historical backgrounds offer plenty of scope for drama. Gracie's War by Elaine Everest is set during the Second World War while Sally Quilford's Lonesome Ranger takes place in the Old West.

Whether you're thinking of writing for us or not, if you want to up the drama in your writing, here's some things to think about.

1    Think suspense! Actively think about how your story will unfold to keep the reader interested and guessing. Withholding information creates suspense. So can plots involving a race against time or other external force.

Drama can come from external factors but don't forget the potential for emotional drama in romance. Up the emotion and make the emotional stakes for your heroine as high as you can.

       Think reality! Even if your story is set in the past, put yourself in the shoes of your central characters and give them real and complicated problems to deal with. Remember that fiction must make sense so their problems must be convincing and not too easily solved.

 Convincing drama comes from convincing characters with convincing problems to solve. These problems are at the centre of your story and if you get it right then you'll have all the dramatic conflict you need for a really compelling story.
      Kate Nash is editor at Pulse.

           Submission guidelines are available on the website:

           Thank you, Kate.

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