Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Promo- Antonia Tiranth

For starters I want to thank my wonderful hostess for letting me blog with her. So, who am I? My name is Antonia Tiranth and I’ve got my toes in all sorts of ponds. My first books series, The Tales of the Rikashi, has three books available with Lyrical Press, Inc. The Rikashi series is about a race of dragon shape-shifters and is fantasy/paranormal romance. My second series, The Tarot Kings, has one book out with Red Rose Publishing and another accepted and awaiting first round of edits. This series is fully in the erotic romance arena and each hero is based on one of the Tarot Kings. My third series is The Dragon Wars and the first of that series, Kellan’s Dragons, will be out January 2011 with Muse It Up Publishing. This one is seated in the Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy category. See I told you, all sorts of ponds. LOL.

So…my topic for this blog is “How to Write.” I can hear the groans out there. No, I’m not going to lay out something you’d see in those self-help writing books. Most of them didn’t do squat for me. Which brings me to say, if you’re reading one of those books and you find yourself scratching your head or getting more and more frustrated that you can’t write that way, DON’T panic. It just means that’s not how you write. I read book after book and tried to write outlines, fill out character questionnaires prior to writing, and make note cards. It doesn’t work for me and what works for me, won’t necessarily work for you but this is how I write. It all starts with cursing at that tiny purple dragon I call a muse…then begging….then offering cheese poofs….and finally crying. The crying usually works. He then tosses me the beginnings of an idea. For instance, the beginning he tossed at me was that it should be about a race based on him, a shape shifting dragon. I moved on from there thinking of a starting scene and a few in between. Then I sat down at the computer and just started writing. Sometimes I have a beginning, an end, and a few scenes scattered here and there. I don’t do outlines or character questionnaires. Maybe after its all over before editing I’ll do those things but when writing, I just sit down and let the characters lead me where they want to go. Often I’ll have to wrangle them back to the main plot, but occasionally the ramblings will go somewhere better than where I was thinking and I just go with it. So always be flexible, if the story isn’t fitting what you first imagined, don’t fight it. It will just frustrate you more.

Some of you are thinking, what do you mean let the characters lead you? Well, if you’ve seen Nim’s Island, you know exactly what I mean. Jodie Foster’s character was a writer and the subject of her books, was constantly by her side, talking to her and she to him. That’s what happens with me. For everything I write, the characters are by my side, grumbling and complaining and generally making pests of themselves. If you want a believable story with characters your audience will love, or sometimes hate, then you need to think of them as not just words on a page but as real, living, and breathing entities. It is their story you are telling, so why not let them tell it?

Another good tip for writing is turn off those red and green squigglies! They just distract you. Leave that for the editing. I also let the story settle for a little bit after I am finished. After you are done writing, take a break. Have a party, do a happy dance. THEN go back to it and start editing. It will help you to take a step away from it and actually see what is written and not what you THINK you wrote. It’s an easy thing to do. You know the story and you sometimes skip over things that might be a little unclear for someone not so intimate with the details. So, having a writing buddy who can help you edit is a really great thing.

And that’s how I write. How about you guys out there? What’s your method?

For updates on my works, stop by my blog, twitter, facebook or livejournal.


Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Enjoyed your method, Antonia. I, too, allow my characters to grab my pen and lead me around. They, after all, know where they want to go and it's no use ignoring them. They come back to haunt your dreams and every waking moments.

Paul and Karen said...

Thanks for sharing that those how-to books don't work for everyone. I stopped writing fiction for a long time because I couldn't fit the mold.

Now I outline first (and it never follows the outline) and the characters pester me, throw food and generally misbehave until I let them "talk" in print! ;)

Karen ~

Nicole Morgan said...

Hi Tir,

It's been awhile but I'm so glad to see you're still hard at work. Loved the blog. And what great tips!

Nicole :)

Suzanne said...

Always interesting to see how others write, Antonia--thank you! As for me, I can't let my characters guide me because they have a bad habit of leading me into dark alleys, then disappearing to let me find my own way out. I'm a plotter. I sketch out a rough of each chapter of the book. Within the parameters of that chapter, my characters can do what they want to, and sometimes it makes me have to revise what I call my "plot arc," but it keeps things moving. It's all very OCD, which is why my crit partner calls me "Rain Man." :-)

Antonia said...

LOL all the comments are wonderful so far. I think the biggest thing to remember about writing is, everyone's different. If something doesn't work for you, try something else.

Missy Martine said...

I envy your ability to just go where the characters lead you. With the memory problems I have since my strokes a few years ago I have to depend on an outline for each story, and I mean detailed outlines. It doesn't mean I don't vary from it, from time to time, but I do keep updating it so I can't forget what I've done in the past.

Anyway great article, I enjoyed it very much.

Missy Martine

Denysé said...

Hey Dragon Lady!! VERY nicely done, as always. Your love of your work shows in all you do, which is why you write such great stories. As you said, everyone is different, and in many ways every story is different, so the key to it all is be flexible and adaptable - and the rest will flow.....

Blessings to all....

Lauri said...

Oh, yes, Antonia, you hit the nail on the head for me. I've tried outlines, spreadsheets, and everything else, but what works is 5 min of meditation after I sit down at the keyboard. I clear my mind and let the characters step in and take over. It's like going on an amusement park ride some days!

Best wishes with your book!

Nancy said...

Those red & green squiggles can pull you right out of your story when you are typing away. Our local RWA chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance writers, has one week a month where members may sign up for the book-in-a-week challange. From Saturday through Friday, writing is our #1 project. No edits, no spell-checker, no trips to the movies, no whatever. Taking the pressure off is great! Thanks for confirming this practice.

M Pax said...

Cheese poofs, huh? LOL

Oh, I agree on how those books can frustrate.

I get the characters leading. Mine usually do, too. I love when they start hijacking the story.

Dragon shapeshifters? Intriguing. I'll have to check that out. Will forward to a few friends. :)