Fiction and Writing

The Author’s Oracle. (Part One)

This is something that Angela Donofrio has put up and kindly encouraged her fellow writers to participate in. She’s put together a set of questions based around the major arcana of tarot, these questions relate to writing in some form or fashion. How could I resist? I’m a tarot reader myself (I use Maggie Steifvater’s deck, I couldn’t gel with the Rider Waite or the others I tried), so it seemed like a wonderful bit of fun.

I’ve tagged some people in but if I forgot you (I’ve been hopeless recently!) please do participate. If you do join in please don’t forget to link back to the original post found here:

The Author’s Oracle.

 

0. The Fool: Which of your characters is the most intuitive?  The worst decision-maker?

Quin is probably the most intuitive but I’d say Keirn is the worst decision maker. Quin has a fantastic intuition, and he listens. Keirn however has a fantastic intuition (it’s an elf thing) but he’s conflicted and unbalanced, that affects his decision making.

I. The Magician: What character, location, or object has the most positive influence in your story?

Kadrix. He was supposed to be a small side-character that popped up for a paragraph or two a couple of times a book. Now he’s turned into a full-fledged second character that I can’t help but love. He makes me laugh, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a lot of reader’s favourites!

II . The High Priestess:  Do any of your characters have very strong beliefs?

Elise is a priestess of the moon goddess, so her beliefs are absolute. She regularly speaks with her lady and works with her on the physical plane to make sure things are as they should be within Prague.

III.  The Empress:  Who is your biggest supporter?  Give them a little love, here.

That’s between Mollie and Mad Whispers ( my BFF). They’re amazingly talented writers, fun, with wonderful senses of humour. They’ve kept me going through dark times and been wonderful cheerleaders.

IV.  The Emperor:  Do you outline or plan?  (You know … plotter or pantser…)

I’m an outliner, a planner, I have quite a few posts talking about it 😛 I am however pantsing Branded In Ink and will do so until it breaks me and I have to put together an outline lol.

V.  The Hierophant:  What do you feel is your most valuable piece of writing advice?

Read as much as possible, and write in as many different forms as possible. I learnt a huge amount from writing essays, articles, non-fiction, copy, and poetry. Each form of writing has a different purpose, different rules, and they have something to teach you about writing fiction. Play with them, learn them, and they will make your fiction stronger.

VI.  The Lovers:  Which of your characters follow their heart?  Is it for the right reasons?

Lysander. Yes, it is. He has a good heart and is an excellent judge of character.

VII.  The Chariot:  Tell us about the first “darling” you ever “killed”.

That would likely be the first book I ever wrote. It was, like so many writers will tell you, bloody awful. I refuse to look at it now and burnt the only physical copy of it.

VIII.  Strength:   What do you feel your greatest creative strength is?

My images and characters. I’m a very visual person, my world is images, and I adore psychology. So that comes together to help me really bring my characters to life.

IX.  The Hermit:  Can you write in coffee shops or other busy places, or do you need quiet?

I hate writing in public, I don’t like other people being able to look over my shoulder. The noise is fine, the people, not so much.

X.  The Wheel of Fortune:  Do you have a set routine or schedule?

Nope. I write when I have the energy and inspiration.

XI.  Justice:  What’s the biggest consequence that your main character will have to face?  (If it spoils the plot, feel free to be vague.)

Well, a lot of lives are in her hands. She’s been put in a position of balance, a pivot of forms, her actions and decisions will have long reaching consequences.

XII.  The Hanged Man:  What sacrifices do you make for writing time?  Or, what must your main character be willing to choose between?

Evie must be willing to choose between her own life and everyone else’s. She’s the protector and she must be willing to do whatever it takes to get what needs to be done, done.

XIII.  Death:  What do you do after you’ve finished a project?

Have a drink of scotch or absinthe and chill out with my dear husband.

XIV. Temperance:  Please share your best tested & proven tip for balancing writing and “the rest”:

Ask me another, I’m a workaholic, I haven’t figured out that rest thing.

XV.  The Devil:  Everyone has a nasty habit they can’t shake.  What’s your main character’s?

Shutting people out. She puts herself on the hill watching over everyone else rather than allowing people close, to help her.

XVI.  The Tower:  Have you ever had to scrap an entire project and start over?  How did it feel?  Were you frustrated, sad … relieved?

Many times. I was frustrated because it felt like I’d wasted my time, but relieved that I was no longer banging my head against it. It wasn’t working, so it had to be culled.

XVII.  The Star:  What is your favorite part of starting a new project?  New notebook smell?  Getting to know the characters? Building the plot?

Getting to know the characters, I’m all about my characters.

XVIII.   The Moon:  What’s the biggest lie that your main character is telling themselves?

That she’s just another hunter doing what hunters do.

XIX.  The Sun:  Do you have any themes, symbols or objects which come full circle in your work?

I love tattoos, so I tend to have tattoos feature in there somewhere. They’re a representation of the characters, whether they know it or not.

XX.  Judgement: Do your characters get what they deserve?  Why or why not?

Yes. It’ll take time of course, but they’ll get what they deserve. Everything is balanced, they put in the work, make the sacrifices, and that will be balanced.

XXI.   The World: At what point did you know that you had to write this project?

When it stuck in my mind and wouldn’t fade. When I knew the characters, and I could see them and their world. When I had that opening scene fixed in my mind itching to get out.

 

If I remember correctly then Angela uses the Rider Waite deck. Each deck has different symbology and meanings attached to the cards. Given I use a very different deck, I thought it would be interesting to put together a second set of questions based off my deck.

0. The Fool: If you could go back to the beginning, where you had that childlike innocence and joy, what would you do differently with your writing journey?

1. The Magician: When times get dark, where do you find your inner balance and strength?

2. The High Priestess: How much of yourself do you find sneaks into your fiction?

3. The Empress: What’s your fictional comfort zone?

4. The Emperor: How do you feel about writing rules? Which ones do you throw out?

5. The Hierophant: Has there been somewhere unexpected that’s produced a breakthrough in your writing? An unusual source or mentor?

6. The Lovers: Who’s a character that reflects, balances, and strengthens you? Whether one of your own or someone else’s.

7. The Chariot: How do you satisfy both your heart and your head with your fiction?

8. Strength: What do you have the least patience with in the writing process?

9. The Hermit: What do you do when you when things aren’t working with your wip? How do you go about figuring that out?

10. The Wheel Of Fortune: How do you do deal with things being out of your control?

11. Justice: How do you feel your past has molded you as a writer?

12. The Hanged Man: How much are you willing to give to your writing?

13. Death: How have you, and thus your writing, transformed since you started this journey?

14: Temperance: How much thought do you pay do the long-term with your writing?

15: The Devil: What’s your personal devil? What does the mean little imp that sits on your shoulder whisper?

16: The Tower: What’s the biggest revelation you’ve had as a writer?

17: The Star: What does that moment of pure inspiration and unburdened joy look like for you?

18: The Moon: How do you deal with that moment when you can’t see where you’re going or what you’re supposed to be doing?

19. The Sun: Which area of the writing process are you most confident in? Which do you know you’re good at?

20. Judgement: If you could go back and change one thing along your writing journey, what would it be and why?

21: The World: How much of what you’ve learnt from each project do you feel you take into each new project?

 

I’m low on energy at the moment so tomorrow I will be answering my own questions 🙂

If you’d like to join in and answer these tarot based questions then please do! These are Angela’s questions: 

 

0. The Fool: Which of your characters is the most intuitive?  The worst decision-maker?
I. The Magician: What character, location, or object has the most positive influence in your story?
II . The High Priestess:  Do any of your characters have very strong beliefs?
III.  The Empress:  Who is your biggest supporter?  Give them a little love, here.
IV.  The Emperor:  Do you outline or plan?  (You know … plotter or pantser…)
V.  The Hierophant:  What do you feel is your most valuable piece of writing advice?
VI.  The Lovers:  Which of your characters follow their heart?  Is it for the right reasons?
VII.  The Chariot:  Tell us about the first “darling” you ever “killed”.
VIII.  Strength:   What do you feel your greatest creative strength is?
IX.  The Hermit:  Can you write in coffee shops or other busy places, or do you need quiet?
X.  The Wheel of Fortune:  Do you have a set routine or schedule?
XI.  Justice:  What’s the biggest consequence that your main character will have to face?  (If it spoils the plot, feel free to be vague.)
XII.  The Hanged Man:  What sacrifices do you make for writing time?  Or, what must your main character be willing to choose between?
XIII.  Death:  What do you do after you’ve finished a project?
XIV. Temperance:  Please share your best tested & proven tip for balancing writing and “the rest”:
XV.  The Devil:  Everyone has a nasty habit they can’t shake.  What’s your main character’s?
XVI.  The Tower:  Have you ever had to scrap an entire project and start over?  How did it feel?  Were you frustrated, sad … relieved?
XVII.  The Star:  What is your favorite part of starting a new project?  New notebook smell?  Getting to know the characters? Building the plot?
XVIII.   The Moon:  What’s the biggest lie that your main character is telling themselves?
XIX.  The Sun:  Do you have any themes, symbols or objects which come full circle in your work?
XX.  Judgement: Do your characters get what they deserve?  Why or why not?
XXI.   The World: At what point did you know that you had to write this project?

 

HollySiggy

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9 thoughts on “The Author’s Oracle. (Part One)

  1. I’ve never used a tarot deck or have gone to a reader. My mom isn’t big on spiritual/ritual things so we don’t really do that in my house. These questions sound like fun, though! I’ll have this one up on Tuesday (I don’t remember if I told you differently, but now I’m going with Tuesday because that’s my tag day.) I’ll most likely be doing Angela’s AND your questions because they’re both so good!
    Thanks again for the tag!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is awesome, Holly, thank you! I love that you came up with a variant set of questions based on your own deck! I use the Book of Shadows: So Below tarot, which borrows some symbolism from Rider-Waite, but I’ve studied Thoth a little bit, as well. I’ll have to do your own questionnaire on Between The Lines one of these weeks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember when I got my first collection of tarot cards. There is something about the occult that has always appealed to me and I have a few stories on the back burner that are associated with them. This was a great questionnaire and your answers are fascinating as always. You always have such insight to share and I love learning about your characters. They are always my main priority too and it’s great to know other people feel the same. I’ll definitely be taking a shot at these when I have time next week. ❤
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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