Sunday, 2 September 2012

Linda Mitchelmore guests on keeping it all in mind


Today I welcome Linda Mitchelmore to the blog with her writing tips for continuity.  

Linda has had over 200 short stories published worldwide, and has won and been short-listed in many competitions. Her debut novel was published in June by Choc Lit. I'm delighted that Linda is willing to share her method of keeping track while she's writing.

Take it away, Linda:


I've got the sort of head that can hold all the dates of all my friends' birthdays and anniversaries without forgetting any of them (but not the dates of wars and reigns of kings and queens!). And I can remember what I need when I go to Sainsburys rather than taking things at random from the shelves and forgetting the necessary milk and loo rolls.
But alas, that same brain can't remember if I've given my heroine blue eyes or brown, if she's 5' 6" or if she's only 5'4". And was she wearing a green dress (and if so what shade) when the (black-haired? brown-haired?) hero first kissed her, or was it a blue one?
So....for my writing I need my 'visuals'. I tear out pictures from magazines and I try not to use famous faces like Kate Moss or Jude Law because we all read so much about their private lives I wouldn't want any of that to spill over onto my characters. Less famous models than Kate Moss are a good source, though, as are the men and women in adverts for anything from cat food, through watches and probiotic yoghourts to Jaguars. Hairdressing mags are good, too. The Sunday glossies often do features on shoes and bags and if anything catches my eye I cut it out and add it to my 'visuals' pile for future reference. 

I've even used the male models in the Cotton Traders catalogues for a hero or two ....there's a dark-haired one who's modelled in there for decades now and I have to say I think he's matured with age! As to colour of dresses or furnishings or whatever.....a good paint chart is essential - they have some great names, too ...eau de nil, chartreuse, midnight, apricot blush to name but four. Estate agents' sheets are good for houses/flats/country estates.

So, once I've chosen how my heroine and my hero (and another two or so main characters) look and where they live, I pin those pictures on the wall in front of me, and there they stay until I've written THE END.

And then, of course, it all begins all over again....:)


Life in Devon in 1909 is hard and unforgiving, especially for young Emma Le Goff, whose mother and brother die in curious circumtances, leaving her totally alone in the world. While she grieves, her callous landloard, Reuben Jago, claims her home and belongings. His son, Seth, is deeply attracted to Emma and sympathises with her desperate need to find out what really happened, but all his attempts to help only incur his father's wrath. When mysterious fisherman, Matthew Caunter, comes to Emma's rescue, Seth is jealous at what he sees and seeks solace in another woman. However, he find that forgetting Emma is not as easy as he hoped. Matthew is kind and charismatic, but handsome Seth is never far from Emma's mind. Whatever twists and turns her life takes, it seems there is always something - or someone - missing.