Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Writer Wednesday:Top Tips for New Voices from Editor Flo Nicoll

Mills and Boon Editor Flo Nicoll gives some of the Mills and Boon Editors top tips for New Voices 2011.
As you might know, on 13th September 2011 we launch our second global search for fresh writing talent to join Mills & Boon’s galaxy of romantic fiction stars.

We’re looking for talented new authors, and if you’ve got a romance bubbling away in your head we want to hear from you! But before you put pen to paper, here are some top tips on how to make your romance stand out from the crowd…

Understand what our readers want: Do your research! Read as many of the current titles as you can, and get to know the different series with our guidelines on

Love your characters: Readers follow their emotional journey to falling in love. Focus on this, not elaborate, weird and wonderful plots.

Make the reader want to walk in your heroine’s shoes: She should be believable, someone your reader can identify with. Explore her life, her triumphs, hopes, dreams. She doesn’t need to be perfect—just perfect for your hero…she can have

flaws just like the rest of us!

The reader should fall in love with your hero! Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, Russell Crowe in Gladiator or Daniel Craig as James Bond are all gorgeous in different ways. Have your favourite hero in mind when you’re writing and get inspired!

Emotional Conflict: Just as real-life relationships have ups and downs, so do the heroes and heroines in novels. Conflict between the two main characters generates emotional and sensual tension.

Avoiding the dreaded cliché: Open your story book with a bang—hook your reader in on the first page and show them instantly that this story is unique.

A successful writer can use a conventional theme and twist it to deliver something with real wow factor!

Once you’ve established the direction of your story, bring in fresh takes and new twists to these traditional storylines.

Here are four things to remember:

-          Stretch your imagination

-          Stay true to the genre

-          It’s all about the characters—start with them, not the plot!

-          M&B is about creating fantasy out of reality. Surprise us with your characters stories and ideas!

So whether it’s a marriage of convenience story, a secret baby theme, a traumatic past or a blackmail story, make sure you add your own unique sparkle which will make your readers come back for more!

Finally, good luck with your writing! We look forward to meeting your fabulous heroines and drop-dead gorgeous heroes!

Have your say or enter New Voices at:


  1. Great tips to remember. I love hunky heroes and spunky heroines. They don't have to be gorgeous, but heroic and beautiful in their own ways.

  2. Yikes I'm getting collywobbles already! But thanks for the great tips Flo. Caroline x