This month I bring you Krisna Starr, an author and mother with a very inspiring take on writing fantasy. Her blog has several free samples of flash fiction, and her Goodreads list is an eclectic mix of high fantasy and low romance.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. My first story came to being when I was in the 8th grade. I pantsed the whole thing. I had no idea of what an outline or even a plot was. I just went with the flow and gave life to all the scenes from my dreams. Legend was a story full of magic and wolves and fairy tales. My sister was the only one I shared it with. It was a bunch of crap, but she loved it. In fact, she saved it for years and showed it to me a few years back. It ignited my longing to write again. My novel, Dragons of Atlantea is a result of that long-ago dream and my sister’s persistence to keep the embers of that dream alive.
What had surprised you most about your story?
I mostly pantsed Dragons of Atlantea. I started with a loose outline of what the story and main characters could be and then started writing. The scenes and the story flowed naturally and most of the times, I was shocked how a scene/ chapter ended.
But that is what I really love about writing. The joy of creating a story that has a life of its own. What I learned from writing my first novel is that the story and the characters already exists in our dreams and all we have to do is allow it to flow through us to the paper (or laptop).
That’s a great sentiment. What other advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Follow your heart and your dreams. Pick up a pen (or your laptop) and write down your story. Don’t give up before you finish that last scene. Writing a novel is hard work, but if we balk at it, the wonderful story that is living inside our hearts doesn’t come to life. Many writers start writing the first few chapters and at the first sign of an obstacle (a harsh critique or a writer’s block), give up. Or they finish the first draft, revise a little and publish it online. They’re hurt for life when negative reviews about weak characters, SPaG errors or plot holes flood in.
Our first draft is like coal. For it to become a polished diamond, it has to be put under pressure. Join a writer’s workshop. Have other readers and writers read your story and give you their feedback. Look at the feedback without prejudice and revise. Rinse and repeat ’til you’re satisfied that this is the best your story can get. Then publish it to the world.
Give your readers a sparkling diamond of a story that hooks them, reels them into your magical world and doesn’t let go till the end.
Any tips on how to accomplish that?
What I’ve learned is that there are no unbendable rules in writing. It depends on the discretion and common sense of the writer. If you browse the internet, you’ll find a lot of do’s and don’ts. Adverbs are bad! Dialog tags are bad! Prologues are bad, bad, bad!
Take dialog tags for example. I’m not saying that dialog tags are a must or that they’re evil anchors that drag the prose down. But having them in certain places spices up the writing and breaks the monotone in a long conversation with only character gestures or plain dialogs. Having just dialogs can become confusing when there are multiple people in a scene. And having a character gesture/ action for every sentence to show who’s talking can actually grate on the reader’s nerves.
So learn all the dos and don’ts but take them with a pinch of salt. Use them when required, ditch them when they work against you.
Thanks! So do you write full-time or part-time?
There are days when I dream about being a full-time writer. But with the demands of children and family, I’ve to be content with being a part-time writer. That said, I’ve a suspicion that if a genie grants my wish and I become a full-time writer, I’d
miss time being with my family and spending time with my kids. So I’m actually happy being a part-time writer, using my story as my get-away from this tensions of this world, while enjoying the antics of my kids (and husband).
About Krisna Starr
Krisna is an avid reader and a lover of dragons, unicorns and all things magical. Dreams and
stories are her personal haven from the hum-drum of daily life. Her current work in progress, Dragons of Atlantea, is set in the magical world of Atlantea where magic rules, dragons roar and angels soar in the skies. Besides books, she enjoys spending time with my children, mediation, yoga, music and watching anime on the internet.