Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

When a book goes bad by Kate Hardy

I’ve been writing Medicals for a while now – actually, next month is the 20th anniversary of The Call (and, on the same day, my daughter’s 21st – where did that time go?). But the last Med I wrote… it’s the first book that’s gone so badly that I actually sent it in last week, not only late but with suggested revision notes!

I knew there was a problem when it took me a whole day to write what would take me an hour or two in ‘the zone’. I also knew that my characters didn’t want to talk to each other, let alone kiss each other. Nuh-uh.

The problem? The conflict! I agreed to write a reunion book. The problem with that is finding a reason for them to split up in the first that was ENOUGH of a reason, but a reason that could be overcome, say, five years later.

I didn’t get it right. (And I know it was the problem, because the one I started writing this weekend is sparkling and fun and I can’t wait to work on it.) I’ve suggested a restructure to my editor; and in the meantime I’m distracting myself with the new book and a wee bit of sewing.

I’ve said before that writing and sewing have a lot in common. This is my big ’favourite things’ sampler (220 stitches wide, 295 deep), which I finished last month (needs washing and pressing!). The border is fiddly and seemed to take for ever. That bottom layer, of slog, I wanted to do anything except sew! (Just like I wanted to do anything but write, on the last book…)

Are there any tropes that really don’t work for you, as a reader? What’s your favourite? (Mine’s friends-to-lovers – which is the one I’m writing now – followed by fake fiancee.)

4 thoughts on “When a book goes bad by Kate Hardy”

  1. I love friends-to-lovers and reunion stories. (Yes, ironic. You hate writing them and I love reading them.)

    My least favorite? Oops, I’m pregnant or secret baby/child stories. I especially detest the oops pregnant trope in medicals. These are people that should know how to prevent pregnancy. And secrets? Hate them. Just talk to each other.

    What I do love? Your stories. Despite the trope, I enjoy the way you create this little world and make your characters come alive.

    1. Aww, thank you, Nancy! Friends-to-lovers I adore writing. But reunion… (And we often get stuck with ‘but can you add a One Night With Consequences?’) xx

  2. Let the editors now not all your readers love the one night big consequences trope. And while I’m on a roll… I hate when 4 of the 6 books that come out for any month all have the same trope. At least this reader wants six different tropes. Yes each author handles it a bit differently, but there’s only so much you can do with the same trope. 🙂 Now I’m done. Thanks for listening.

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