As some of you might know, The Maddening Lord Montwood, the last book in my Rakes of Fallow Series, just came out. Since I had so much fun writing this series, I thought that how I create a series would be the perfect topic for this month's "Writing Tips."
The first step is to get excited about the characters.
With The Rakes of Fallow Hall, I already knew the gentlemen involved, because they’d each appeared in The Wallflower Wedding series. Gabriel (The Elusive Lord Everhart) made his debut as Griffin Croft’s sparring partner in Finding Miss McFarland. Rafe (The Devilish Mr. Danvers) whistled his way through his sister’s book, Daring Miss Danvers. And Lucan (The Maddening Lord Montwood) incited jealousy and earned death threats in four previous books: Winning Miss Wakefield, Finding Miss McFarland, The Elusive Lord Everhart, and The Devilish Mr. Danvers. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to write each of their stories.
The next step is to build a world.
This step requires shopping for office supplies: new pens, pencils, Post-its, a 3-ring binder, a small bedside notebook (for middle-of-the-night inspiration), a large 3-subject notebook, and tea. Lots and lots of tea. And maybe some new yarn. I mean, if I’m going to leave the cave, I might as well make a day of it, right?
Upon returning to the cave, high on the scent of new paper and chai, I’ll greet Pinky (my pink laptop) with a grin and then start searching for images that fit my world. During this process, questions spring to mind: Will my characters live in a summery country manor or in an ancient castle in winter? Will my heroine need a gown for a ball? Will my hero own a phaeton or ride on horseback instead? Then, before I know it, I not only have a world, but I also know more about my characters.
Build a world? Check.
The next steps involve research, family trees, creating conflict, deciding how these books are linked, etc.
This is where the 3-ring binder, and my adapted library database/archive/Googling skills come into play. I also use an enormous whiteboard to keep everything straight. Of course, I could use a computer program instead, but the whiteboard allows me the freedom to jot down a quick fact without needing to open up a separate file on the computer, which would likely lead me on the path of distraction.
By this time, I know my characters, their family members, friends, likes, and dislikes. Not only that, but I’ll have a sense of where to begin their story, and how all the books are linked. And poof! A new series is born.
Warm wishes and happy writing,
~USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order ... but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is proud to be an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, and The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series. For more on her upcoming novels, visit her at www.vivlorret.net