Thursday, 28 August 2014

Write what you love, plus chance to win signed print book

We've heard that adage "write what you love" and there's a reason writers are told this. Because writing what we love means we're being true to our hearts. And if we're true to our hearts then our writing won't suffer. Nor will the readers.

We can't kid ourselves. Well, we can but not forever. Whenever we lie to ourselves it's only a matter of time before the truth surfaces. Many books and movies also back me up on this. One big area where people kid themselves is in relationships. We often adapt our beliefs/principals/opinions/behaviour to suit someone else or to keep the peace or so they won't find out that we're not perfect. Invariably our true self comes home with a slam of the door, a stomp of the feet, and a defiant holler of 'honey I'm home'. Sometimes the triumphant return of our true self is to our detriment. If only we'd presented our real self at the beginning of the relationship we wouldn't have to cook food we don't eat for a bunch of friend we don't like to praise the win of a sporting team we don't give two hoots about.

Writers should never kid themselves either. If you're not a fan of bodice-ripping romance, then don't write one. You won't be doing your readers any favours by trying to pull the wool over their eyes. You won't do yourself any favours when you're interviewed about why you write bodice-ripping romance and you say that you do it because it seemed an easy way to get published, as opposed to writing it because you love it. I know. I wrote YA novels when I really wanted to write for adults. At the time, I couldn't get the words on the page, yet they  flowed when I wrote the words in the POV of a teenager. I love my YA novels and my YA characters, but I feel a sense of relief that I'm finally writing a few novels for adult readers.

Readers want to know that the author loved putting those words on the page. I loved putting the words on the pages of my YA books, so maybe I do love them in the same way that I can love all models of a certain car.

For example, my favourite car in the world in the Corvette. Some models that I prefer over others, but overall there isn't a bad Corvette. I love their curves, their elegance, the horsepower. I watch Less Than Zero just to see the Corvette the characters drive around in. I ogle them if they're ever on the road. I saw a yellow one parked on the street last week and I was sorely tempted to stand beside it and have my photo taken. So if I love all models of Corvette, then it's fair to say that I love writing for both teens and adults. As long as the genre is what I love.

Are you getting that I love Corvettes? The passion and enthusiasm shows in the way I speak about them, doesn't it? It's the same with writing. If I'm only mildly enthusiastic about, say crime novels, then I should never attempt to write one, no matter how popular they are. Because when I'm asked about my writing, I want the passion to come through. I write speculative fiction. Why? Because I love it.

That's not to say that I don't like contemporary fiction. But when it comes to writing I can't find the voice. I need to find the voice or readers will see through the lie.

I recently spoke to a group of writers and the feedback was that my passion for writing shone through. It's true that I love writing. And I love sharing my tips with other writers. Anyone who wants to be a writer must love what they do. The road to publication is a long, long, long one. They can build cities in less time. And the successes are few and far between. So we write because we love it.

We must also write what we love. I am a huge fan of shows like Supernatural, Star Trek, Doctor Who. Can you see the pattern? Paranormal and science fiction are two genres that I love. So I write paranormal and I write science fiction. My second novel, Feedback is a blend of paranormal and science fiction. My current project is science fiction. I have started writing contemporary and it has been shoved in the drawer that many times that it's apparent I might not have what it takes to write contemporary fiction. I might not have the passion for it.

I hope that you know a little more about why writing what you love is important. And I hope you can see that I love what I write about.


To show how much I love what I write about, for all of September and October I'm giving readers the chance to win a signed print copy of my first published novel The Bird With The Broken Wing. The entry details are below. Contest starts soon. Be sure to check back tomorrow to enter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway





ABOUT THE AUTHOR



D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.



Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com
Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1

Friday, 22 August 2014

Top quotes from movies/books/TV shows


When was thirteen I was in a school play. I had one scene. It was a musical and therefore put on by the music teacher who was more focused on the singing and band that stage direction took a back seat and was kind of left up to the students. Yeah, as if we know what we're doing. Anyway, I was so terrified of forgetting to enter at my scene that I memorised the entire play. Despite shows like X-Factor and Idol portraying confident teens, the truth is that some teens dread the idea of being up on stage, so when the lead character pulled out one week before curtain time I stepped into the  lead role simply because I had memorised the entire play. I wasn't any good (something about lack of stage direction perhaps) but it wasn't a total disaster.

The point is, if you asked me today to recall a single line quote and I'd be stuffed. I have to write everything down now. It's possibly the reason I get a bit cynical when I read or see characters who quote verbatim long prose or poems. Like really, who can remember stuff like that? Maybe one or two quotes that really touch our hearts and minds will stay with us forever, but on the whole, I think we like to see lists of quotes from music, poems, movies, TV shows ,and books to trigger the old memory banks. 

Why do we love quotes? Because they express how we feel and think at that particular moment. Inspirational quotes can give us the courage or affirmation that we need in order to do something. Funny quotes can pick up a mood. The perfect quotes from a book can make that book remain forever in our hearts and minds. Quotes connect us with characters or people or places or time. they are in some ways the mirror with which humanity views itself.

So without further ado, here is a list of some of my favourite quote and lines from movies, books, and TV shows.

QUOTES FROM THE MOVIES:
Flash Gordon
"Flash, I love you but we only have 14 hours to save the universe." 


Blues Brothers
Elwood: "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses."

Love Actually
Karen: "Would you wait around to find out if it's just a necklace, or ir it's sex and a necklace, or worst, worst of all, it's a necklace and love? Would you stay, knowing life would always be a little bit worse? Or would you cut and run?"

Star Wars
Yoda: "Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try."



Muriel's Wedding
Muriels' sister: "You're terrible, Muriel."
[I know of a person who's children named their dog Muriel simply so they could say this line. Poor dog.]

The A-Team
Hannibal Smith: "Overkill in underrated."

Jaws
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."



QUOTES FROM TV SHOWS
Big Bang Theory:

Sheldon: "A Little Misunderstanding? Galileo and the Pope had a little misunderstanding."

Amy: "I don't object to the concept of a deity, but I'm baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance."

Amy: "Sheldon, sometimes you forget, I'm a lady. And with that comes an estrogen-fueled need to page through thick glossy magazines that make me hate my body."

Amy: "On the bright side, every six year old there was jealous of my tiara. Not gonna lie, it felt good."

"Interesting, you're afraid of women and insects, ladybugs must render you catatonic!" - Sheldon Cooper; The Big Bang Theory provided by Rachel Sawyer from Queensland, Australia



"I'm not scared, I'm rationally concerned... there's a difference!" - Danny 'Danno' Williams; Hawaii Five O  provided by Rachel Sawyer from Queensland, Australia


Supernatural:
Dean: "Bitch."    Sam: "Jerk."

Dixon: "Can you think of a worse hell?"    Dean: "Well, there's hell."

Dracula to the pizza delivery guy: "Do you take coupons?"

Bobby: "Now have we done feeling our feelings? Because I'd like to get out of this room before we start growing lady parts."

Castiel: "Uriel's the funniest angel in the garrison. Ask anyone."

Dean: "I'm gonna go stop the big bad wolf. Which is the weirdest thing I've ever said."

Sam: "I miss conversations that didn't start with 'this killer truck'."


Bobby: "Ijiots."


QUOTES FROM BOOKS

The Outsiders: "I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me."

Gone With The Wind: "My dear, I don't give a damn." [Frankly, there is no frankly in the book. it was added into the movie and is the first time I realised that movies don't quote verbatim from the book. Kind of a let down but I got used to it.]

Black Beauty: "We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words."

Black Beauty: "If a thing is right it can be done, and if it wrong it can be done without; and a good man will find a way."
 



Tuck Everlasting: "Life's got to be lived, no matter how long or short. You got to take what comes."

Tuck Everlasting: "Nothing ever seems interesting when it belongs to you - only when it doesn't."

To Kill A Mockingbird: "People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."

To Kill A Mockingbird: "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

To Kill a Mockingbird: "Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts."



“What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?” — An Abundance of Katherines (Novel); John Green (Author)  provided by Rachel Sawyer from Queensland, Australia


"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book." - The Fault in Our Stars (Novel); John Green (Author)  provided by Rachel Sawyer from Queensland, Australia


"To love is to destroy, to be loved, is to be destroyed." The Mortal instruments (Novel series); Cassandra Clare (Author)  provided by Rachel Sawyer from Queensland, Australia


More quotes will be added to this list so please check back if you'd like to read more.

Also, if you have any quotes you'd like to see included in this list please list them via the comments box and I'd be happy to include them.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com
Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1












Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Bird With The Broken Wing by D L Richardson ebook now $2.99

Welcome

Latest news!!! What a surprise it was for me to check in on my online retail sites and discover some good news about my debut novel The Bird With The Broken Wing. I regularly do this to make sure links are working and what not. Anyway, I checked in and discovered that my publisher has reduced the ebook price to $2.99 USD.

This is great news, because many ebooks are set at this price point and I've often thought that maybe this deterred buyers rather than attract them, which is the essence of selling.

www.dlrichardson.com
you can read reviews for this YA fantasy novel on author website

Author's description of the book:

"The Bird With the Broken Wing is a tale about a guardian angel who ends up in Purgatory with the mortal she was assigned to watch over. While working on getting her mortal out of Purgatory she discovers some disturbing news about her presence there."

Things about this book you did not know, as told by the author D L Richardson:

"This was originally an idea about adult characters who die and end up in Purgatory and there they meet a soldier who has been there forever, since there always has to be someone to watch over the doorway to heaven and he's kindly let everyone else through first. It's not until he meets a woman and she discovers how long he's been there that she forces him to ascend and she'll take over the job of watching the doorway."

"I never got this story idea off the ground until I made the characters teenagers and of course tweaked a few other things, such as introducing an angel into the group."

"This was my first novel published. In some areas it is too clipped - yes, you can edit a novel to death and lose the flow. I'd like to one day put back the flow but then I also think that novels are moments in time and should be left as they are."


Official about the book stuff:

Synopsis:
Angels may not reveal themselves to mortals...but when the mortal Rachael's watching over is hurting, how can she stay hidden in the shadows? Guardian angel Rachael becomes trapped with the mortal she's been assigned to watch over. Unable to watch him suffer, she decides the only way to free him of his inner demons is to break the rules about becoming involved, revealing her true identity, and applying divine intervention. But what choice does she have? Without her help, his soul will be trapped forever. Then a stranger appears, giving Rachael reason to wonder if his is the only soul in need of saving... 
 
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Etopia Press
ISBN 13: 9781939194084
ISBN 10: 1939194083
ASIN: B009LKHUQM
Number of pages: 147 ebook / 224 print
Word Count: 48,138
Cover Artist: Eithne Ni Anluaine 
Book Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrESzj1KwpU&list=WL2AE91331BCE75E4F&feature=mh_lolz      
Print: Book Depository
Ebook: Amazon   Barnes and Noble
Plus everywhere else books are sold online



Links you might like:
Carrie Underwood saves bird with a broken wing
Teens take 'Battle of the Books' seriously
Amazon and Hachette battle it out for ebook prices




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com
Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Good and bad book to movie adaptations

There is sometimes a great divide between the book and the movie. There is sometimes a good reason to be pro one and against the other. What makes a great book does not always make a great movie. Many novel writers hate the movie adaptations so much they refuse to lend their names to the credits (comic book icon Alan Moore has great disdain for the adaptations of V for Vendetta and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).

These are only my top few. Here's your chance to be included in this post. Email here or comment below and include the movie/book title that did or did not work in the adaptation and provide a sentence or two and I'll include you in the post.

When we fall in love with a book we often don't want it to be changed in any way. But that's a bit like decorating a house that we expect not to be changed when the new owner arrives. Even if the house is already perfect, the first thing any new owner does is change something to make it theirs. Even something as simple as paint one wall. When a writer receives that call to make their book into a movie, they have to accept that someone is going to change the drapes. they might not like it, but it's going to happen.

With the recent launch at Comic Con in San Diego of the movie trailer for part one of Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy, I thought I'd take a look at a few book to movie adaptations.


THE HUNGER GAMES / CATCHING FIRE
book by Suzanne Collins
movies directed by Gary Ross / Francis Lawrence
I think the Hunger Games movies are brilliant. There are actually some parts that I believe are done better. For example, in the book the mockingjay pin was given to Katniss from a school friend. In the movie it was purchased for Primrose who then gave it to Katniss at the reaping day ceremony. This resonates better due to the close relationship. However, the friend in the book is pivotal because it shows Katniss having a friend, and considering she is never portrayed as warm and fuzzy a friend is necessary for teen relationships. However, it works better in the movie to remove the friend - fewer characters. One of the things the movie does well is give us another point of view. The books are written in first person point of view so what the reader sees is very limited. Movies present an omnipotent point of view and the adaptation from first person to omnipotent is done well. There's a review here from Suzanne Collins
here you can read on the first movie  made of the Hunger Games.





SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
novella by Stephen King
movie directed by Frank Darabont

In this case the movie is better than the book, or novella as is the case with this work, if only for the simple reason that I think the shortened title of the movie is better. The novella is actually called Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. Sorry if that sounds lame, but I never liked the original title. In the late 80's, Frank Darabont wrote to Stephen King to request the rights to make the movie and King agreed. You can read a great interview with Frank Darabont here. Darabont weaved his own formula for redemption into King's classic and pulled off an awesome movie.





TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
book by Harper Lee
movie directed by Robert Mulligan

I don't think anyone could walk away from either watching the movie or reading the book and not say, that was great. The movie was made in 1962 and Gregory Peck is impeccable as Atticus Finch. I saw the movie first and read the book years later and I could not differentiate between the two. Gregory Peck IS Atticus Finch. The book was published in 1960. To date it is Lee's only published novel and it has never been out of print. It took Lee two years to write the book and she received donations from friends to write uninterrupted for a year. Thank goodness she was friends with Truman Capote who introduced her to an agent who requested she quit her job at the airline. Now that's what I call fate.




THE OUTSIDERS
book by S E Hinton
movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola

The book and the movie are both dark and that's why I think the adaptation works well. What also works really well is the fabulous line up of actors. The movie was made in 1983 and features the who's who of 80s heart throb talent. Rob Lowe. Tom Cruise. Ralph Macchio. C Thomas Howell. Matt Dillon. Patrick Swayze. Emilio Estevez. Although, at the time these were all unknown actors who went on to big things. The movie was trashed when it was released, but it is a classic and in retrospect, like I said above the darkness of the book is conveyed in the movie. Perhaps in the 80s when it was made they wanted spandex and hot pink. Thank goodness it didn't go glam.




DRACULA
book by Bram Stoker
movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola

This movie is a beautiful piece of cinema. I love Gary Oldman in this movie. It is better than the book only because the book is written so long ago and its not the easiest to read.




There are many more adaptations that work well and I haven't even touched on science fiction yet. These are just a few so if you have any suggestions please let me know via the comments box.

The ones that worked for you:

Alicia Heron of Batemans Bay, Australia:
On the flip side to my previous rant (see below) I think The Bone Collector (Denzel Washington & Angelina Jolie) was a really good adaption of Jeffrey Deavers novel. Sure they made a few changes but I think a movie adaptation should enhance a readers experience of a book not irritate the reader!



Rachel Sawyer of Queensland Australia:
The 100 by Kass Morgan
The 100 character poster
Another book to television adaptation. I personally thought the book was far too short, I started reading, blinked and it was over. I loved the stories, the characters the whole idea behind it! It's fantastic! I was so surprised when I watched the first season because it's a 50/50 half of the book is there and half of it's not, but it's good. It's great actually! It's almost as if the writers of the TV series have expanded so much where Kass was limited to her only so many pages. They've kept her original plot, her ideas, her characters, essentially her starting point and they've branched off and created this wonderful series that hopefully will thrive and keep going for years because it honestly has the potential!


Rachel Sawyer of Queensland Australia:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
This was interesting because the book I thought had a few unnecessary bits in it, like Veronica was just babbling to make a word count or something. I mean it flowed and was a good book, but there was some bits I personally thought weren't needed. When they made the movie they took those out, keeping just the really important bits in and then they kept focusing on those and the tiny details within those which I thought was fantastic! I loved them both!


Rachel Sawyer of Queensland Australia:
The Mortal Instruments; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Much like the Percy Jackson series not much remained true to the books except character names. However I actually really liked the movie. Some scenes I thought were captured better in the movie than in the book. And some I thought were better in the books than on the screen. So for me I have to say, I loved both!





Rachel Sawyer of Queensland Australia:Under the Dome by Stephen King
Now this isn't a book to movie, it's a book to television adaptation so I know it's a little different but it is another one I didn't like. I found the book was almost impossible to get through, it was 800 pages of nonsense that wasn't honestly necessary followed by 2 pages of actual "WOW! So that's what's going on!" By the time I had finished the book I swore to myself I'd never read another Stephen King novel if this was how they all were. Then they announced the television series and I thought, maybe I'll give it ago. What a bust! Like the PJ series nothing is the same as the books except for the character names and of course the dome. However the television series has kept me more interested with it's riddles and twist and turns then the book ever did. (And I hate to say this, because I've never been able to, I like the TV series better then the book!)
 

[Authors note: I know what Rachel is saying about Stephen King being hit and miss sometimes. I picked up this book and there are about 5 pages of characters that I had to put it down. I don't need to know every little detail of people's lives in a book. Just the main characters please.]

The ones that didn't work for me:

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
I'm not sure that this did or did not work. The book was very compelling and the movie is watchable. Actually, the movie is mediocre at best. The book was slammed by many people but it's better than the movie. In other words, I could change the channel if this was on TV or I could watch it if there was nothing else on. And I actually own this book and the follow up Demons and Angels. Ah, maybe I don't know.


Bridget Jones's Diary
The good thing about the movie is that it got to play on the irony of Colin Firth. If you haven't read or seen the book you won't get it. The book is better in this instance.



Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
I used to love this movie but I tried to watch it recently and I realised that it falls flat when compared to the book. It's a good movie and it's in my collection, but the book is a thousand times better. I feel like I'm betraying Brad and Tom though, because I love them both and to have them in the same movie is a winner, but I love, love, love the book.




The ones that didn't work for you:

Alicia Heron of Batemans Bay Australia:
The Da Vinci Code movie irritates me from the get go - when an author so specifically describes a character "Harrison Ford in tweed" and then the Director hires Tom Hanks (no offense Mr Hanks) it just doesn't fly. Surely they could have hired an unknown actor who held a resemblance to Mr Ford if they couldn't afford Mr Ford himself.


Rachel Sawyer of Queensland Australia:
Percy Jackson and the Olympians; The Lightning Thief (book 1) AND The Sea of Monsters (book 2) by Rick Riordan These books were fantastic, so full of life and adventure and while they maybe directed at 12-16 year olds, I at 18/19 couldn't put them down, I read the five original books in only a few days and the five spin off just after that! I was so excited to find out the first two were being made into movies that I rushed to get tickets and when I sat down with my sister to watch I was shivering with excitement. Much to my disappointment. NOTHING was the same except for the characters names. They didn't look the same, didn't have the same attitudes/characteristics, they were years older then they should've been, the plot was different, the scenery and descriptions; all different. It really upset me that the company couldn't even get simple character appearances right. Rick Riordan even stated that he has never seen any of the movies but he's heard from a lot of fans and friends that it's a train wreck and in my honest opinion he's right!


 Books I want to be made into movies

Robocalypse by Daniel H Wilson. Apparently it's being made. I'm not sure how it will be but I'm dying to watch it.

 
My own of course. Feedback / The Bird with the Broken Wing / Little Red Gem.

http://www.amazon.com/D.-L.-Richardson/e/B00I2LFWXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1



Books I don't want to be made into a movie
Am I the only person who doesn't want to watch 50 Shades of Grey. I couldn't stomach the book. There's no way I'll watch the movie.



Other blog posts of mine you might like: to read
Robocalypse review
Top 10 fiction novels
The best horror book to movie adaptations


Don't forget to let me know of any books and movies you think should be on this list. I know there are plenty more.
Catchya!
D L



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com
Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1




Thursday, 26 June 2014

Writing multi-level characters

When I look around my house I see many different themes. I can never make up my mind which theme I prefer over the others and thus I live in an eclectically decorated home. I've accepted that I have multiple tastes so now I buy items that resonate with me and they always find a place in my home.

I love the bright colours of Spanish influence which feature in my bathroom and bedrooms - brightly coloured and patterned bed lined, candles in wrought iron holders, lilac walls, blue walls. The Spanish influence is something that I can't explain, I've never been there but I believe I have Spanish blood somewhere along the line and it comes through in my taste of décor.

I also love the monochrome look featured in my living room, a love I picked up from watching black and white movies as a child. for me the monochrome Hollywood represents chasing dreams.


I also love the animals prints that are splashed all over my home - zebra prints on the walls, zebra patterned winter blanket, elephant and rhino statuettes, fake ferns in cast iron pots and urns. This theme connects me to nature.

And I also love the beach look that is scattered in my bedrooms and living rooms - the oar that is weather beaten and belonged to my late father-in-law, the shells I collected from the beach, the white blinds and all white walls. The beach look is a way of connecting with the present. I look out over the water and imagine that one day I will be looking at another horizon, but not today.

When it comes to renovating around my house, I'm at a constant war with themes and I tell myself that I should pick just one. But I simply can't, and there a reason for this.

Each of these themes represents a separate part of my journey as a person.

Many writers will create a character profile before they begin writing. It's a long list of likes, dislikes, star sign, job, family, hobbies, schooling etc. Okay, there are some things that won't change unless they are pivotal to the plot such as hair colour, eye colour, height. When writing, we should consider giving our characters multiple layers to their personalities. A character's likes and dislikes, they way they do things daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, the way they throw caution to the wind one minute and then race to catch it the next. The way a character can hold a grudge for one act and then forgive the same act at a later stage.

I've read some novels where a character only behaves a certain way and only that way. They only drink the one type of drink. They only wear the one type of clothing. Granted, there are some people like this in the real world, but mostly people change and evolve and revert and shift. People are like the weather - they can change quickly and then change back just as quickly. We are not androids, though there are times when I wish I could just switch off and lock myself in a closet.

Writers can run the risk of creating cardboard characters or even cliché characters if they ignore normal human behaviour. Our friends and family will always surprise us, sometimes disappoint us, at times upset us, and how we react is just as varied as how they react. and this makes for better conflict amongst the characters, and where there is conflict, there is conflict resolution.

Moods do affect how people behave. If we're tired or stressed, we'll do things that others might consider "out of character". But sometimes "out of character" is actually true character unveiled. We often put on masks in public or at our jobs, we often adapt our behaviours in social groups to fit in. But there are times when we are provoked into revealing our true self or our dream self.

I like the concept of dream self - this is the one where you ask your character "if you had 6 months to live what would you do?"

Unveiling hidden traits can move a plot along, it can become part of the character's journey, and it is often the insightful moment - the part that without it there would be no story.

If you're having trouble adding extra layers to your character, consider the three act structure.

Act I - put your characters in a tree
Act II - set the tree on fire
Act III - get them out of the tree.

This approach can be used when developing your character. How will they react at each of these stages and which is the true self, which is the hidden self, which is the dream self, and which self did they like better? Will they revert back to old self, will they change? These are not issues exclusive to characters in novels, people face this real issue daily, and that is why I encourage writing multi-layered characters - to connect with your reader.

Unless the stoic approach to character writing is pivotal to your plot, I'd say give creating multi-layered characters a go.

Good luck with your writing!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com
Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1