NEW release: Clara and Claire

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Clara and Claire is now available! You can purchase the ebook on Amazon today for just $2.99. Just a quick reminder that if you’re waiting for the paperback that will be releasing soon. It’s still being formatted currently, but I’ll announce a date as soon as I have one.

Remember there’s a release party today on FB if you’d like to join in. It’s public, and there’s a great list of authors showing up to celebrate with me. Just this morning fantasy author Michael Sullivan stopped by to say hello! The last time I saw him was at my first book signing for Cursed With Power. He is always a huge inspiration!

I started writing Clara and Claire in September of 2015. I’ll admit writing this novel was never easy. After finishing the Magicians series in 2015 I had a hard time letting go of the characters I had spent so many years with. But along the way I realized it was kind of a relief to have a break from a series.

This book is now so close to my heart. I fell in love with the characters just like I did with beloved ones from the Magicians series. It’s something I’m releasing out into the world today, knowing how proud I am to have written it. I spent a lot of time writing, rewriting, editing, and then re-editing this book. It’s why it’s been a long time coming for the release. I wanted to make sure the best version of this book would be releasing out into the public.

I have a busy day ahead of me with the FB event. But without further ado, please share with your friends and family. If you’re in need of a new book this one is now available! And I hope you’ll consider stopping by the FB event to say hello, pick up a book, and maybe even walk away with some free stuff!

Lindsey Richardson.

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5k Words in One Day

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Today I set a goal for myself: 5k words. All in one day. And just now I completed that goal. It’s a small goal in the grand scheme of things. But after reading a post about writing 10k in a day yesterday I felt inspired. I pursued my goal, and I’m ending my writing session today feeling satisfied. There was a time, about half way through, where I thought about stopping. That I wasn’t going to make it to 5k today, and I could always get to it tomorrow.

But that’s not how goals are reached! Don’t put it off for tomorrow. Do it today.

As promised, I wanted to talk about my writing today. Because for those of you who follow along with my writing, my usual goal is 1k a day. It’s a reasonable goal, and it’s usually one on a good day (without writer’s block) I can reach. But today I reached for 5k, and here’s why.

I started a new book today. I’m not going to reveal the title until December, but this new book has me excited. A lot of new ideas are stirring around in my head, and there’s still a lot more that I’m working out. But with the first draft it’s okay to not focus on everything at once. At least for me, sometimes I just figure out things as I go.

Someone on Instagram had mentioned they listened to The Crown soundtrack while writing. The Crown as in the Netflix show that if you’re not watching yet, go watch it! It’s an amazing show. But in all seriousness, I had forgotten what an impact soundtracks can have. I decided to listen to the soundtrack for the first time today, and I found one song (“Duck shoot”) that I placed on repeat for the entire time I wrote today. Maybe it was because I had seen the scene with this particular song in the show, but this song was so powerful today. It was just what I needed, and it honestly worked perfectly with everything I was writing today.

In total today I wrote for 4 hours and reached 5,105 words. Mind you the four hours were split up into smaller sections. The first hour or so I did this morning, and then the remainder of the time I did this evening (since hubby is at work).

So let’s talk about how you can reach 5k. Whether that be today, tomorrow, or next month. Set a date that you have free time to just focus solely on your writing. Make a small retreat out of it if you have to. Have a writing buddy join you. But here’s the most important things you’ll need to succeed:

  • Announce your intended goal –This is why social media is so great to have. Announce your goal is 5k today, and then have your friends and family hold you responsible for reaching it. Maybe check in now and then to update your progress. But just one simple announcement does the trick. It holds you responsible for reaching that goal.
  • Coffee –Or some other beverage to help you stay energized. Unless you’re one of those writers who gets 5k done fast, you might need a few hours to do this. Or you might need the whole day. But don’t lose hope! Drink your coffee, make another cup of tea, and keep on writing.
  • Break your goal into smaller sections –Hit 1k? Great, take a break! And continue this when you feel yourself getting distracted or feeling at a loss of words. 5k in a day can feel like a lot, and you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. Staying focused doesn’t mean driving yourself insane. Take some time to cuddle with your cat, eat a snack, and then get back to work.
  • Keep track of your time and word count –Again, I’m going to suggest the app “Wordly” if you don’t already have it. There’s other apps similar to it, but this is the only app I’ve ever used for my word count. I’ve been using it since the first draft of Clara and Claire and haven’t stopped since. It helps you stay accountable for the time you’re spending on your writing and who much you get done after each writing session. This also really helps with breaking up your sessions when you need to take a break. Just jot down when you stop and how many words you’re at, and then pick back up when you start again.
  • Music –music isn’t for everyone. The majority of the time I write in complete silence. But sometimes music (or some kind of inspiration) can really help you get into the mood. For me today it was The Crown soundtrack. Other times I’ve listened to rain and thunder soundtracks (because I’m weird like that). Find what works for you. Maybe listen to music during your breaks to get re-energized.
  • Other preparations –Notebooks, pen, post-its… Whatever you need for those moments when you have a “aha!” moment and need to write it down fast for later. Characters, dialog ideas, plot twists… anything relating to your book that you can’t write into it right now, write it down and save it for later
  • Write like you mean it! –This seems obvious, but seriously just write your heart out. Whether you’re writing on paper or typing, try not to think about grammar or sentence structure or plot holes. Just get the ideas out of your head and onto paper.

The worst thing you can do when you set a goal like this for yourself is get stuck in your head. And I’m guilty of doing this all the time. What if this is complete crap? Why isn’t this chapter longer? How can I make this scene more interesting? What if this book never sells? Why did I start writing in the first place? No, no, no. Get out of your head, and just go with your gut. I honestly feel like that works the best, especially when you’re just trying to get something written.

When you’re trying to get a book written, don’t worry about everything at the end for it to be ready for publication. Just focus on the here and now. You’d be surprised by how much you can accomplish.

I realize this has been a longer than usual post, so if you’ve made it this far I hope this post can help you with your future writing adventures. I was so overwhelmed with hitting that 5k marker tonight I’m eager to see what I can get done tomorrow. For now that’s all, and by the way…

4 more days until Clara and Claire release!!!!

Lindsey Richardson

 

 

Writing a series vs. a novel

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I am finally writing the post I’ve been wanting to write ever since I first started Clara and Claire. For those of you who are planning to write either, I’m hoping this can be helpful. There’s a lot of different ways I thought of tackling this, and mind you I’m going to include a lot of personal experience with this too. I think that’s a big part of writing. There’s no right way of doing something, but everyone’s experience varies.

Let’s face it a series takes a lot of planning. You might not have it all planned out at the beginning of book one. Unless you’re one of those people who have the whole series planned before you begin –to which I say bravo! But you can equally put just as much time into a standalone novel.

A series is a lot like a butterfly effect. If this happens, this will happen in the next book. If this character dies, this character won’t be in the rest of the series. It’s a lot of playing around with different ideas to see how they’ll fit into the puzzle. Because a series is, in a lot of ways, like a puzzle. You have to test the ideas, see how they work, and then if it doesn’t fit with the idea you have for the overall series you start over again.

With the Magicians series there were a lot of times I didn’t decide on the exact nature of the next book until I was finished with the current one. That’s just the way I write. But I constantly reminded myself after this book there would be another and another until the series ended.

There’s some other major points that make a series so different from a standalone novel:

  • Setting -There’s going to be a lot more time you’ll be spending with the setting of your novel. Even if your characters stay in the same place throughout all the books, there’s still a lot of development and thought you’ll need to put into it. You want this to be the world that’s special to your series, that separates it from other books.
  • Character development -Your characters need to be constantly developing throughout the whole series, just like real people do throughout their life. This is where the butterfly effect is huge. If something traumatic happens to your MC, we want to see and feel what effect that has on them. If they make a huge lifestyle change we want to know why and how it changes them afterward.
  • Voice -Maybe the voice changes throughout your series. For example, in my series the narrator changed with each book. So every book there was always a change in the voice because never the same person was telling the story. Even if this isn’t the case for you, your MC is going to be growing and changing throughout the series. What might have been a bitter MC at the beginning could end with a satisfied one.
  • Endings -endings are so important for series. I really can’t stress this enough. You have to end each book in a way to convince your readers to come back for more. Always leave them wanting more, which is easier said than done. My best suggestion for this is to read the endings of your favorite series and see how the author kept you coming back.

As for standalone novels they’re massively different from a series. This is a one time book. Afterwards you want the reader feeling like they’re just read an amazing book and can’t wait to read more from you.

A novel has everything a series has : character development, settings, a great ending, and your MC’s voice. Except all of these things you have to cram into one book. From someone who was used to only writing series, I found this to be the most challenging part. Like huh, how will this all fit into one book? So it’s important to plan and also recognize what’s in your novel’s ending. If at the end you still feel there’s more to tell, that it can’t all be said in one book, then maybe you need to write a sequel. But if you’re aiming for a standalone make sure you have everything wrapped up at the end.

With standalone novels this means you have one chance to impress the readers. By the end they should know whether they love it or hate it. And if you’ve done it right they should be searching your name to find other books by you. This is also a great chance to gain readers who don’t like series or don’t have the time for them.

Every author has their preference just like our readers do. As for me I’m still a sucker for series, but I loved the work I did for Clara and Claire and it has me excited for my next project –which I’ll be announcing after the release. But regardless I think it’s important for us to step away from the things we’re comfortable with and try something new. For me it was a standalone novel. For you it might be that romance novel you’ve been debating on writing. It can be anything, and if you don’t at first succeed keep writing. You can only get better!

Lindsey Richardson

Clara and Claire Release

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The release date for Clara and Claire is now officially set! The ebook version of Clara and Claire will be releasing Saturday, December 3rd. Remember that the paperback will be available soon, and I’ll be announcing a date for that as soon as I have one.

With the release means I’m also hosting a FB event to celebrate and share the big day! There will be several authors showing up throughout the day to participate as well. The event is entirely online, and anyone can join! I have a poll going on right now for you to enter the name of the person who invited you –and the one with the most votes wins an Amazon gift card!

In regards to the FB event, it’s going on all day. I’ll be waking up at 7am to get things started and share the purchase links. Feel free to also stop in and ask questions or just say hi.

This release means so much to me. For those of you who have been following along since I started writing Clara and Claire, you know it’s been a long road. It felt even longer when I first started out and had to come to terms with the Magicians series being over. But Clara and Claire was a new beginning for me. It’s given me so much hope and inspiration, and I can only hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

It’s going to be a fun and exciting day, and I can’t wait to share the day with you! Remember if you purchase an ebook you can get a free digital signature through Authorgraph, and I’ll post the direct link to that once I add Clara and Claire to their database.

There’s a lot left for me to do to make sure everything goes smoothly on Saturday. But in the meantime, prepare to solve a mystery!

Lindsey Richardson

How to Support an Author

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With Clara and Claire‘s release being a week away, today I wanted to talk about how you can support authors. Whether they be best sellers, indies, or everything else in between. Along with supporting them comes the support for the books they write, the ones we fall in love with. One with out the other isn’t possible.

And with Christmas approaching soon, I expect there will be even more books to release before the holidays.

So first let’s talk about the easiest and free way of support authors:

  • Share on social media –Did they release the official book cover? Release date? Purchase links? Every little bit helps because you know a different group of people than the author.
  • Attend virtual events –You don’t even have to leave your house for this one! Virtual events might be live Q & A’s or Facebook events. They’re free, and you can participate all from the comfort of your home. It’s a great chance for you to learn more about the author and their book(s), and you never know you might walk away with a signed copy of something by the end of the night
  • Follow them on social media –Like their FB page, follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Most other use a lot of different social media, and this is also a great way for you to stay constantly updated on the latest news revolving around the book(s) you love. (And if you’re already following them, take it to the next step, and recommend their page to a friend.)
  • Tell your friends and family –Maybe you’re at a party, the coffee shop, at your dinner table… Whatever it be, word of mouth is so powerful. I can’t stress this enough. When you’re talking to someone in person it’s a great opportunity to tell them about the book(s) you love. Just read a brand new release? Tell them about it. Even if they’re not a reader themselves, they might know someone who is.
  • LEAVE A REVIEW –Alright this one is major. I’m putting this under the “free” solutions because it is 100% free. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and even on your own blog/website (if you have one), are all just a few examples of where you can leave a review for a book. Whether you love it or hate it, reviews are so important. Think about it… What’s one of the first things you see when you’re looking at the product? Chances are you probably read the reviews or skim over the star rating before you buy it. Whether the author is new or a best seller, this is something all authors can agree on. Reviews never go un-noticed and they are never taken for granted. We love reviews and can never get enough! And don’t forget, it can be short and simple too; we don’t mind.

Alright, so we’ve talked about the free ways to support authors. But what are the other ways? These ways I’m mentioning may or may not cost money, but if you love a book that an author writes odds are you’re willing to pay to support it.

  • BUY THE BOOK –Whether it be ebook or paperback, when you purchase a book the author makes a royalty. Royalties are how authors survive. It’s way countless authors can’t afford to write full-time because it’s not a steady income. Every time you buy a book, you’re supporting the author who wrote it. If you’re ever uncertain about where you can purchase the book(s), ask the author or go to their website. Always purchase from trusted websites.
  • Pre-order the book –This goes along with buying the book, but it never hurts to pre-order. If the author has the option, you should definitely take advantage of it. It allows you to get the book sooner, and it’s like saying “thank you” to the author.
  • Attend book signings –This could also be in the “free” solutions, but some book signings cost money to attend and usually if you attend you’re there to spend money. So let’s just say this is one that will cost you some money (most likely). Book signings are a great way to meet face to face with the author who wrote the story you love. If you already have a copy of the book you can get it signed, and if not you can purchase a book there. Sometimes there’s even extra goodies if you attend, so if you don’t have anything planned on the day of a book signing go check it out. I guarantee you it’s worth the time.
  • Purchase any merchandise –Maybe the book has merchandise that goes along with it. Shirts and other goodies. Ask the author where you can purchase them, and remember this goes along with supporting the book. (And it’s a great way for you to share with friends and family!)

I might have left out some other support methods, so if you think of any others leave them in the comments. But overall I wanted to touch on the big pointers, the ones that I think we often times forget about. There are so many ways to support authors and the books they write. Keep this in mind when you’re purchasing books for this holiday season.

Also if you have a favorite book or author you’ve been supporting, leave them in the comments and I’ll check them out!

Lindsey Richardson

P.S. If you’re wondering more specifically about Clara and Claire…. There will be a pre-order option for the ebooks as soon as I know the release date (which I should know by tomorrow). The book will be available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Createspace. Ebook and paperback copies will be available for purchase. If you need any help purchasing let me know. I’ll be signing ebooks as well as paperbacks.

 

Losing NaNoWriMo

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Today I’m going to talk about a very real possibility. Instead of telling you about my word count in NaNoWriMo (which unfortunately is still the same), I wanted to talk about the fact that some of us participating this year might lose. It’s a possibility every year, one that sometimes I try to forget, but it’s real nonetheless.

But is there such a thing as losing in NaNoWriMo? Maybe at the end of 30 days you won’t be at 50k, but if you’ve written something I think that’s still a win. NaNoWriMo is all about challenging yourself, and sometimes the challenge gets the best of you. That just means next time you’ll be better prepared. I know a lot of writers right now, like me, who are behind.

It’s the 16th day. I’m only at 10k, so right now I’m looking at the end of the month, realizing I might not be at 50k like I’d want to be. But this month also taught me a lot about myself as a writer and also what I need to do in order to be successful next time. Win or lose, I gained a new book out of this challenge, so I’m happy to be taking that with me.

Failure in writing is one of the hardest challenges. We see it in rejection letters from publishers and agents, criticism (sometimes), and writer’s block. All these things that feel like we’ve failed in some way are real. They challenge us as writers (whether you’re experienced or not). They make you ask the question “Am I going to give up?” And if you can move past the failure and write again the next day, then you know you’re cut out for this line of work. It’s not for everyone, but if you have the passion it’ll drive you unlike anything you’ve ever known.

So yes technically at the end of this month if you’re not at 50k, you’ve lost in the eyes of NaNoWriMo rules. But on the other hand, you might have won something bigger. And I truly believe if at the end of this month you can walk away and start December out with the intentions to keep writing, you’re on the right path. You’ve got this. Maybe this year NaNoWriMo just wasn’t for you. Next year and the years ahead of that all hold possibilities, and every time you try, you have a chance of succeeding.

If you’re behind, don’t worry. Keep on writing. Let’s make the most out of the time we have left this year. You never know, you might end up having a weekend without any plans and end up catching up. (Or accomplishing more than you planned.) Take each day one word at a time.

Lindsey Richardson

P.S. I know I still owe you guys the post about hitting 10k in my NaNoWriMo novel. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten! I’ll be sharing that tomorrow, so be sure to check back in then.