Boosting Writing Productivity with Author of Historical Romance, Lauren Linwood
Please make welcome Lauren Linwood, author of historical romance. Today, she’s sharing some tips about how she stays organized while writing – something I know I always appreciate. Thank you Lauren!
Writers juggle a lot of balls at the same time. Just last week, I worked on proofing Ballad Beauty, my March release. I completed second round edits on my June book, Leave Yesterday Behind, and then began proofreading that, as well. I participated in a blog exchange (and wrote another, independent blog for my own site). I signed a contract on a new medieval and brainstormed titles since my editor didn’t like the one I’d chosen. I read my critique group’s chapters and made notes on suggestions to share with them at our next meeting.
And that was the author part of my life! I still had laundry to do, meals to cook, appointments to keep, and a thousand other little things that need to be accomplished on a regular basis in order to keep my life running smoothly.
So now, as I return to my work-in-progress that was so rudely interrupted by all this other stuff, my head just might explode as I try to remember what’s going on in this new book I’m trying to create.
I keep two different lists to save me time. First, I create a character list which names each person in the book in the order they made their appearance. I include not only major characters, but I also list any name given. I don’t want to repeat the receptionist’s name from Chapter 3 by using it again as a co-worker in Chapter 14. I’ll tag each name to help me jog my memory. For A Bit of Heaven on Earth, here was the beginning of my cast list:
Fayne of Aldwyn – Elizabeth’s father, ready to be rid of his bothersome child
Elizabeth – heroine who is strong-willed and not interested in love or having children
Thera – Elizabeth’s mother; died giving birth when Elizabeth was two (child died soon after)
Father Michael – doddering priest
Having this cast list helps me keep everyone straight. You’d be surprised how many characters occur in a novel!
Another time saver is my chapter summary sheet. I bullet point events in each chapter, which not only gives me an easy reference for what happens chronologically, but if I think of a “breadcrumb” that needs to be dropped in? I skim my chapter summary list and see where I can drop a tidbit for maximum effect. Here’s part of my summary from Written in the Cards:
Chapter 1: October 1874 – New York City
-Maggie’s aunt interrupts her boxing lesson in the drawing room the day before her wedding
-Harriet says she must learn to act as a lady of wealth since she’s about to marry Richard
-Maggie fights a panic attack at the thought of getting married tomorrow
I’ve found having both my cast and summary lists save me time in the long run. I’d recommend them to any writer!
A BIT OF HEAVEN ON EARTH by Lauren Linwood
When Gavin of Ashgrove and his closest friend are captured in a fierce battle during the Hundred Years’ War, their captors demand a hefty ransom from their fathers for their return. Robert is quickly set free, but Gavin’s father refuses to pay for his son’s release, leaving him to rot in a squalid French prison. Aided by a sympathetic priest, he escapes and returns home to England, only to find he has been proclaimed a bastard and disinherited.
With nowhere to turn Gavin journeys to Kentwood, where he fostered as a boy, hoping Lord Aldred will take him on as a knight in his guard. The old warrior is close to death, but he soon realizes Gavin is his son. Aldred plots to have Gavin inherit Kentwood and marry his much younger wife, Elizabeth, a famed and opinionated beauty who remains a virgin after a decade of marriage.
Will the king recognize Lord Aldred’s first request of a marriage between Elizabeth and Robert, uniting Robert’s estate with Kentwood—or will the temperamental Edward reward Aldred’s years of service and honor a dying man’s final request?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lauren Linwood became a teacher who wrote on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones. Her romances use history as a backdrop to place her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grow into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.