Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Creative writing does not crossover into real life

A lot of the time, real life experiences cross over into an author's writing, but the same can't be said for writing experiences crossing over into the real world.


When I write, I love planting seeds throughout the story.



When I go for walks, and I di this daily with The Teeka Dog, plots and ideas germinate, and at the end of the walk I rush back into my study and type the bit of the novel I've mulled over during my walk. This often involves going back through the novel and planting seeds that will keep the reader in suspense.

You might think that a writer who likes planting seeds would be good at gardening. Not this writer, I'm afraid. Love to look at gardens, love to walk around nurseries, but can easily put down spades and shovels and return to the house and say to heck with it, weeds are plants to.


When I write, I love to tie up loose ends.



I think and think and think about the ending and how to make sure every loose thread has been stitched back into the story and neatly tied off. Leave no stone unturned, no character or sub plot hanging.

You'd thick that a writer who likes to tie up loose ends would be good at gift wrapping. Not so. If a person is lucky they get an awfully wrapped gift with tears in the paper and chunks of sticky tape. If they are unlucky they get the bag the gift came in. I'm not really into the commercial aspect of gift giving, and I've never understood the need to gift wrap. But hey, that's me.


When I write, I love to know exactly what happens.




I am the complete opposite in the real world. I love surprises. I love to turn up somewhere and have no idea what's going on and just figure it out or go home. In real life, planning and organising drive me nuts. I know how to do these things, in fact, through the various jobs I've had over the years as personal assistants I'm VERY good at organising. The thing is, when it comes to real life, I just love to go with the flow and see what happens.


What sort of things do you do in your job that don't crossover into your personal space. I'd love to hear your comments.




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, 16 May 2013

Tips to survive a zombie apocalypse

Authors are always coming up with ways our characters can survive the situations we throw them in. Below are some the trademark survival tips that apply to any situation, and transfer particularly well into any horror genre. So if you find yourself under attack by any of the following - vampires, werewolves, soul catchers, zombies, unicorns gone bad - these tips might help you survive it till rescue arrives or until you can escape.

Tips to survive a zombie apocalypse... 

1. Make a fire

Fire provides the following:
  • Warmth in cold conditions
  • A means to purify water or sterilize tools
  • Heat to dry wet clothes
  • A cooking flame
  • A sense of security and comfort
  • Smoke for rescue signals
  • Heat to melt snow and ice for drinking water
  • A means to scare away dangerous animals
  • Light for your shelter or for torches 



In a zombie apocalypse fire may be your most valuable weapon:



2. Find water

The first thing you should do if you're stranded in the wild is find a source of drinkable water. The most obvious sources are streams, rivers and lakes. Animals always know where the water is, so be on the lookout for wildlife or animal tracks. Lush green vegetation is also a sign that water is nearby. Swarming insects may be a hassle, but they also signal that a water source isn't far away. Bird flight paths in the morning or evening can point you in the right direction. Stay on the move until you find a water source.




Smart zombies might hang around water sources to catch their prey. You may need to disguise yourself.
 
  
3. Create a shelter
 
Shelter provides the following:
 
  • safety from wild ground dwelling animals
  • protection from the sun and rain
  • a place to store food and water
  • a place of refuge for other survivors
  
Shelter gives you a place to store your weapons
 
 
 
4. Make clothing
 
Clothing is essential to keep the body warm during the night or in freezing temperatures. Zombies typically like to chew your head off while you are peacefully sleeping in bed. Yet, the first thing you do when zombies attack is run, not reach for jacket and a pair of sensible shoes. If you are caught on the run, naked, and barefoot, you'll need to find clothing and shoes. 
 

Charity bins are an ideal place to start looking for clothing.
 
 

If you can't find one, you'll need to make the clothes yourself. Here is where spare tyres can save your life.
 

5. Create an SOS
 
SOS is the code signal of distress adopted by the Radiotelegraphic Convention in 1912, and used by air-planes, ships, etc. It consists of three dots, three dashes, three dots (Morse code) and is used in radiotelegraphy to call help in distress. It is replaced by Mayday about vessels but writing SOS is a lot simpler than writing MAYDAY to attract the attention of rescuers.
 
 
6. Stay focussed
 
Throughout the survival period, you'll need to stay alert so you can think and plan for your escape. That may be difficult to do when a horde of zombies is beating down your front door, but here are a few tips to help you stay mentally alert so you can look out for signs of zombies.
 
  • Be optimistic
  • Don't be too proud to ask for help
  • Meditate
  • Take advantage of technology
  • Get up and move around
  • Stick to deadlines
  • Play games
  • Laugh
 
7. Escape
 
By now you should be prepared for your escape. You've remained fed and hydrated throughout this ordeal, you have some protective clothing and shelter, you're mentally alert, and you have probably accepted the fact that you may become zombified in the process but you will die trying. So when escape is close at hand, you need to grab the opportunity quickly and maybe burn a few zombies along the way for good luck.
 

 
I hope these survival tips help you during the next zombie invasion.
Over and out.







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

Monday, 13 May 2013

Writing tip - a note on speculation

A quick note on Speculation in creative writing...

The writer speculates about a scenario, researches everything about that scenario, and then puts their characters in that scenario and gets them out dead or alive, scarred or unscarred, better or worse etc.

Pure speculation is best left for situations where writers don’t have the evidence to support the theories underpinning their story. i.e fantasy, futuristic, off world, 2 thousand years ago.


To purely speculate about “what it is was like…” in spite of supporting evidence, can be misleading to the reader who is seeking a genuine connection with a character. (It can also lead to backlash from people who have experienced it). It can not only weaken the story, it can cause the writer to lose credibility. When there is so much evidence available to a writer, there is no reason to rely on pure speculation alone.

There is only one last place a writer might wish to purely speculate. And that is whether or not to touch the electric wire.


 
 
 
 
 
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, 3 May 2013

Goodreads giveaway - print copy of Feedback

One lucky winner will take home a print copy of Feedback, courtesy of the Goodreads giveaway, Hurry, ends soon.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Feedback by D.L. Richardson

Feedback

by D.L. Richardson

Giveaway ends May 20, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win





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

Marketing - more than free books on Smashwords

Woe is me. I was booked to present a marketing workshop a few weeks ago to a group of writers at a sci-fi convention, but the workshop got cancelled due to no bookings. The real woe for me that earning income from non book sales forms part of my marketing strategy. Sow hen things goes wrong in any marketing campaign, the first thing that should be done is an evaluation.

What went wrong?
What went right?
What would I do differently?
What would I do the same?

Part of this evaluation set me to thinking about why my workshop was cancelled .

Was it because:

a) the audience were only beginning to write their novels and were not at the marketing stage yet; or
b) the audience don't care about marketing their books

If the answer is b) because the audience don't care about marketing a book, then they're in big, big trouble. What many new writers don't realise is that there is much more to marketing a book than simply loading it for free to Amazon and Smashwords and hoping that you'll attract fans when it comes time to publish your second or third book.

Marketing involves developing a short term and long term plan, implementing both plans, and evaluating both plans. It involves preparing advertising campaigns that tell the readers why they should buy this book and maybe offers an incentive to buy the book. It involves using more mediums that simply Facebook and Twitter. It also is more than giving away books for free.

Giving books away for free seems to be the most popular means of marketing for many new authors. It's also something that I don't agree with. If a writer is going to give away a book, then do so in an environment where you can capture data, such as hosting a giveaway where you can capture email addresses of fans, or do an incentive promotion where you for a free book the reader must write a review. And while giving away product for free for a limited time is something many of the giant corporations do, just giving away your work for free for an unlimited time and without capturing data is poor for not just your business but for others' business too. It sets an expectation that the industry simply can't sustain. I, for one, don't want to be respected by her peers and admired by readers, but too poor to buy food and unable to pay bills.

I'm not saying free stuff isn't part of the plan. I host giveaways every now and then myself. But I am saying that just writing books and giving them away should not be the only plan a writer has.

Competition is fierce but don't be afraid to explore the wider world of marketing. The writer with a marketing plan is more likely to succeed that the writer without one. As the old saying goes, "A failure to plan is a plan for failure."


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