`1` Romance worth killing for
Shattering Romantic Suspense
Author Websites
Elisabeth Naughton
Joan Swan
Linda Winfree
Author's Latest Releases

Coming Soon

AddThis Feed Button

Industry Blogs We Like
Agent Obscura
Anatomy of a Book Deal
Bookends Literary Agency Blog
The Bradford Bunch
Buzz, Balls & Hype
Jennifer Jackson, Literary Agent
The Knight Agency
Magical Musings
Mid-Willamette Valley RWA Blog
Kristin Nelson, Literary Agent
Jenny Rappaport, Literary Agent
Miss Snark
Murder She Writes
Paperback Writer
Romancing The Blog
Running With Quills
Working Stiffs
Samhain Publishing
Wine Country Romance Writers, RWA
Author Blogs We Like
Elisa Adams
Carol Burnside
Brenda Coulter
Tanya Holmes
Larissa Ione
Lydia Joyce
Elisabeth Naughton
Patti O'Shea
Edie Ramer
Kate Rothwell
Marissa Scott
Lynne Simpson
Amie Stuart
Joan Swan
Karin Tabke
Stephanie Tyler
Linda Winfree
Recommended Resources
Agent Query
Charlotte Dillon
Common Redundancies in Writing
Cop Talk--Karin Tabke
Crime in Mind
Cruisie/Mayer 2007 Online Workshop
Kiss of Death RWA Chapter
Publisher's Marketplace
Romance Agents
Romance Writers of America
Previous Blogs
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
What We're Working On Now

Elisabeth: Marked

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33,126 / 95,000

Joan: Buried Secrets

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
68,000 / 115,000

Linda: Facing It

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
45,540 / 85,000

:~: Monday, December 31, 2007 :~:

Into the Woods

Happy New Years to everyone!!! Looks like Joan is going to talk about resolutions, so I'll stick to fun medical facts for your fiction.

We all love to throw our Heroes curve balls, move them out of their comfort zones, give them physical challenges to overcome, and place them in life or death situations.

One of the most common of these is the wilderness--the stuff of Grimm fairy tales, boogey men and primal nightmares. But what to do once we get our characters out there in the deep, dark woods-- how do we realistically get them back to the ranch in one piece?

Let's use an example from one of my old manuscripts. The hero, Lucky, is a city boy, an ATF agent whose cover has been blown by some renegade militia types. Poor Lucky, he's been shot, the bad guys are hot on his tail, and the only place to go is into a wilderness area. Oh yeah, it's January and a nor'easter is heading right toward him.

What does our hero need right now to ensure his survival?

The most important survival tool is attitude. Not just a stubborn will to live, although that is vital, but also the ability to focus and prioritize, to accept that something bad has happened and move on, and to improvise, think outside the box.

Aron Ralston, the climber who amputated his own hand when pinned beneath a boulder, didn't waste time on self-recrimination. He spent five days improvising various methods to either move that boulder, attract help or free his arm. At the same time he also attended to his other physical needs: temperature stability, water, food.

Top of my wish list if I was stranded anywhere: duct tape.

Got a broken arm or leg? Duct tape holds your splint together. Deep cut or gunshot wound (as in Lucky's case)--duct tape holds the edges together or secures a dressing. By the way, your heroine can really help out if she's prepared for that time of the month-- maxipads make ideal dressings.

Need to build a shelter? Or make a pair of sunglasses so you don't go snow blind (punch a small hole in the duct tape for each eye to look through); wrap it around your ankles as gaiters to keep snow or water out; tape up a sprain; make a sling; blaze a trail; patch up some blisters (once applied, try not to remove it until you're back in civilization or major ouch); you can even fashion clothing from it!

A few trash bags can also come in handy. Lightweight, easy to carry, cheap and versatile. Got rain or snow--instant rain poncho. Need a shelter to bivouac the night in? Fill one with dry pine boughs or leaves, and you've got an itchy but warm sleeping bag. Or cut it open and use your duct tape to fashion a "pup" tent. You can also cut strips to blaze a trail or to use as lashing. Caught wearing sneakers in the snow? Make goulashes.

For first aid it gives you waterproof dressing material, also use the bag part (Ziploc bags work great for this as well) to flush out and irrigate wounds or burns. Just cut the corner off the bottom of the bag, fill with water, hold the top tight (or duct tape it) and poke a hole in the corner, and you have a high pressure irrigation system. And if you need to carry water but didn't bring your Camelbak, you can haul as much as you can carry.

What if you are caught out in the woods with "nothing"? Do a quick inventory, you'd be surprised what you really do have. Nasty gash on the scalp-- tie the edges together with your hair; it worked for the frontier pioneers. Got a broken arm or collarbone? Use the cuff button to attach your shirt sleeve to your collar and viola, instant sling.

Bitten by a snake and no Acewrap handy to use as a compression dressing to stop the venom flow--use your sock. (Note: compression means you can slip one finger beneath it--NOT a tourniquet, and please, no cutting and sucking snake bites! Depending on the kind of snake, almost half are "dry" or venom free, and all you're doing is making it worse by adding a laceration and your dirty mouth germs to an area that's already damaged.)

Fall in the water and need a flotation device? If you're wearing anything water repellant, take it off, tie it like a balloon and blow it up. This technique is one of the reasons people in Alaska swear by Carhartt clothing--there have been several people there literally saved by their pants!

Need lashing for a shelter or to make a splint? Shoelaces or your belt. Need a signal mirror--wearing any jewelry? Want a compass--use your watch, or make a "sundial" compass with a stick. Got matches but no dry tinder? How about the lining from inside your coat or fuzz from your socks?

You get the idea. Remember, attitude is the most important survival tool there is, followed by imagination. Writers, with our positive, no quit attitudes and familiarity with the realm of possibilities, should make for the perfect survivalists!

Anyone with their own wilderness survival techniques or stories? I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for reading!



Post a Comment

<< Home