Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Category Challenge Blaze comments

One of the writers that submitted pointed out that I missed this one. Woops.
So, here it is.

Blaze is a great line. I love this one because it really does span across a lot of different sub-genres and you can really take the story in a lot of different directions. Look at the guidelines:

The Blaze line of red-hot reads is changing the face of Harlequin and creating a continual buzz with readers. The series features sensuous, highly romantic, innovative stories that are sexy in premise and execution. The tone of the books can run from fun and flirtatious to dark and sensual. Writers can push the boundaries in terms of characterization, plot and explicitness. Submissions should have a very contemporary feel — what it's like to be young and single today. Heroes and heroines should be in their early 20s and up. We want to see an emphasis on the physical relationship developing between the couple: fully described love scenes along with a high level of fantasy, playfulness and eroticism are needed. And don't forget, secondary characters and subplots contribute to the richness of story and plot action we look for in a successful Blaze novel.
Are you a Cosmo girl at heart? A fan of Sex and the City or Red Shoe Diaries? Or maybe you just have an adventurous spirit. If so, then Blaze is the series for you!

For a writer wanting to pitch a story to the Blaze line, you have to do more than just tell us the over-all story. You have to tap into the comments that are in the description of the line. Blaze is not simply about hot stories but a targeted audince that is young and very passionate. Make it any genre you want, but the pitch (the 1 paragraph blurb) needs to show us that what really drives this relationship is the heat.

Too often I find submissions that may be Blaze caliber in the writing, but the pitch screams nothing but BOOOORRRRIINNNGGGG!!! I want to read a pitch and say WOW, I have to read this.

One easy trick on this one is to read the blurbs on the back covers of the lines. Follow those trends and you are on the right path.

Of course, if your story is only hot to you and you like mild salsa, then this might not be the line for you!

1 comment:

  1. Was there anything to be said about the new Hsrlequin Historical Undone line? They do not want to see queries, only completed short novellas, but the guidelines are so broad it is difficult to tell exactly what might be wanted. Are they really openm to anything? Must it be the kind of tongue in cheek escapism that identifies Harlequin, or are they really suddenly open to serious writing? Everything I've ever seen from them has a very light-hearted feel, even murder
    and kidnapping.
    I'd enjoy cranking out some short stories for them, but do not want to waste time writing something serious if all they want is a fast breezy read, as usual. May as well begin with fast and easy romping through human events. Any ideas about this? Thanks for discussing the earlier lines. Makes things much more clear.