Today I’d like to announce the first in a semi-regular series of author blog spots. I want to help other authors reach out to this great writing community that we are all a part of.
So – without further ado I would like to introduce Chrystalla Thoma – who currently lives in Nicosia, Cyprus – a heck of a long way away from Nova Scotia.
HOW I WRITE – CHRYSTALLA THOMA
Hi Steve, thanks for hosting me today.
I’m here to tell you how I write my stories. Well, I take a knife and I prick my heart, and with the blood I form worlds. But it’s always much more complex than that. I don’t just sit at my computer and let my blood flow.
So let’s break it down, shall we?
Let’s take it from the start. Usually I have a flash of an idea, sometimes inspired by science findings or mythology. It can be something like, “what if parasites gave us powers” or “what if the elves had invaded us once and now are coming back”. Or it can be simply a scene popping up in my mind – a fight scene between a sorcerer and a monster, or an argument between a father and his daughter.
This is what I call in my mind “a seed” of a story – a burning center waiting to sprout branches and tendrils and form a plot.
What usually sprouts next is a character or more. In that scene or central question burning in my mind, it’s always about people. People with a past and a present. A character is there, at that turning point, because of things that have gone before – from a childhood trauma to an adolescence with certain key events to adulthood where we find them fighting their war or argument. Their past will influence how they dress, how they speak, how they think. And this last part – how they think – will be the turning point for everything that comes afterward. A character’s personality – selfish, shy, a fighter, a coward – combined with their past – happy childhood, crappy adolescence, a death of a loved one, an accident that instilled fear – will determine how they face their fate and how they react to it, leading to all sorts of interesting ramifications.
I am not a real plotter. I’m more of a pantzer – writing and waiting to see where the story takes me. That said, I always have a basic outline jotted down, with major turning points and hopefully the ending, as I find that helps. It’s like an experiment: determine the “what if” and the setting, determine the participating characters and their personality, throw them into the mix and observe a story being born.
Yes, I normally just sit down and write. Often I visualize the scene before I write it. I may even hear snatches of dialogue in my head. (note: that can happen throughout the day and I always carry a notebook with me to jot them down). I also more or less know what *needs* to happen for my story to advance. Of course, I often get surprises when I start writing, and sometimes the story takes me elsewhere. I try to more or less keep to the plot, though. Otherwise, the whole plot may fall apart.
Dialogue with some action is the first thing I write. I try to intersperse bits of description as I see them in my mind’s eye – a flick of dark eyes, a lifted brow, a roll of broad shoulders, a deserted street. I am more interested in action and dialogue in the first draft because it’s what the story is about. In later drafts, I usually add more description. In the first draft I also like to leave little clues and open questions I don’t know the answer to, yet, like – why does he have a tattoo and what does it mean? Why is she so afraid of heights and what’s the back-story to that? How did he get that scar and how will that story affect him now? Such clues can be edited later if they aren’t needed, or changed, or kept to be answered in sequels (I usually write series).
So… quite roughly, this is how I write. Every author’s mind works differently, I’m sure, and now you have an insight into the tangled web of mine. Careful on your way out!
Let me tell you about Chrystalla’s latest release.
During the 13th century In Iceland, epic poems and tales called Edda spoke of the aelfar – the elves. Tall and pale – their name means ‘white’ – these trickster beings brought misfortune and illness, and exchanged healthy children with sickly changelings.
Now the Gates are opening once more between worlds and the elves are back.
Ella Benson, Paranormal Bureau agent, fights all that comes through the Veil – dangerous Shades crossing into our world. But increasingly dangerous creatures are slipping into her city, her work partner has just gone missing, and a mysterious – and, frankly, quite hot — guy saves her life. His name is Finn and, as it turns out, he’s a natural when it comes to fighting the Shades.
When after centuries of peace the Gates between the worlds start opening and our old enemies, the elves, make a comeback, Ella needs a new, temporary partner. Enlisting the mysterious Finn is a no-brainer, until she realizes he is guarding dangerous secrets of his own.
Together with Finn, and the fate of the world on her shoulders, what’s Ella to do but grab her weapons and figure it all out, one way or another.
Read the complete First Season of the series Boreal and John Grey, books 1-5 (The Encounter, The Gate, The Dragon, The Dream and The Truth) at a special price with an Author’s Note at the end.
This is urban fantasy verging on paranormal romance. A sexy love story set against a backdrop of dragons, trolls and magical portals, fast-paced action scenes and suspense.
The first episode in the series is free so you can sample it – here:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Encounter-Boreal-John-Grey-ebook/dp/B00AVVDFGO
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encounter-Boreal-John-Grey-ebook/dp/B00AVVDFGO
And – to all of my KOBO-users out there Chrystalla also has several e-books available for FREE on Kobo.
Here’s a couple, for starters.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. I need to get back to my own writing. Thanks for your guest blog appearance, Chrystalla – I hope you sell a bunch.
Remember folks – we e-book writers need all the help we can get.
yours in storytelling,