Tag Archives: Kailar

Born From Emotion – The Best Stories

Hi everyone,

I wanted to offer a real quick apology for not writing a blog last week.  House hunting has been extremely time-consuming and stressful and before I knew what was happening, last Sunday was over O_o

Onto the blog we go – are the best stories and characters born from emotion?

Artwork by Vuk Kostic.

The thought occurred to me late last year when I was proofreading all of my books just prior to release.  As I read through them successively and rapidly, I discovered that the most recent story, The Orc War Campaigns, felt better written and more engaging as a story.  And I wondered why.

There’s probably many reasons, not the least of which is, it’s my latest, so all of the lessons I’d learned up to that point were ingrained into telling the story.

But also…I wrote the characters out of real emotion.

Especially Amaya.

Image Source – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/200128777168277635/

I know I’ve talked about it before, so I don’t intend to get into details, but as I wrote Amaya’s story and her struggle to move on from an emotionally abusive relationship, I used it as a way to explore my own attempt to do the same.

And in using my own emotions and fusing them into the story, I was able to better connect with her character, as well as Zerek’s and Arkad’s.

What resulted was a writing style that felt more relaxed, more intuitive.  The writing flowed, and despite being 3rd person, it felt like the story was more from their perspective rather than an objective 3rd person describing the events.

I’m also happy to have learned that others feel the same about The Orc War Campaigns.  In fact, despite being the longest book I’ve written so far, folks have read through the entire book in one sitting!  That tells me I definitely did something right.

Applying These Lessons to Future Stories

So now the question is, can I take this idea and write the next book in the series the same way?  Can I connect more with Cardin and Kailar and write in a way that makes it easier for the reader to connect with them?

The answer, of course, is yes.  But it also meant I had to go back through the chapters I wrote last year and the year before and changing them…or in the case of Kailar, rewriting them from scratch.

Actually, I’m glad to have had this revelation.  I came to realize that my original plans for Kailar were far too passive in book 3, and that I needed to drastically change things.

Originally she was going to be very passive, following Letan’s orders and only occasionally letting her temper take hold and spur her to more direct action.

Image Source – http://www.pinterest.com

That’s not Kailar.  It never was.  Part of what makes her such an engaging character is that she is an antihero.  She wants to do what’s right, but isn’t held back by the same moral constraints as Cardin is.  She is much more aggressive.  And now, after the events of Burning Skies, she has the power to back her aggressive and straightforward nature with direct action.

And I have to say, I enjoy writing her a lot more this way!  She felt two-dimensional before, this feels more natural for her.

Another bonus to having taken a break from book 3 was that I came up with new ideas for book 3 as well as later books that I could foreshadow in book 3, especially for Cardin.  His journey in book 3 starts out feeling like it’s the same as book 1 and 2, something comes up, an adventure, and he just goes along with it.

Until something tragic happens.

The tragedies of book 3 were always planned, but they’ve become even more vital after a discussion I had with our friend (and wedding photographer) Danielle, about how she felt like Cardin was never really in any danger.  His powers protected him, and always evolved to save him in a life-threatening situation.

And it’s true, the Sword of Dragons makes Cardin very difficult to hurt.

Everyone else, however…not so much.  Worse still for him, being the Keeper of the Sword means that his actions never affect just him, or even just his friends.  He also must contend with the new paradigm of Dark Magic, and what it means for him and his future.

Book 3 will be a very personal journey for these two characters, as well as for Reis.  More so than in Rise of the Forgotten or Burning Skies.  All with the backdrop of an epic story unfolding!

Kailar – The Unexpected Fan Favorite

Hi everyone!

Image source - onceuponatime.wikia.com
Image source – onceuponatime.wikia.com

What is it about chaotic, even ‘bad’ characters that we enjoy so much?  From Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon a Time, to Vala Maldoran from SG-1, and a whole range of others, somehow these often become fan-favorites, often to the creators’ surprise.

For instance, I can’t help but wonder if the producers of The Walking Dead knew that Norman Reedus’s character would become such an overwhelming fan-favorite!  He seemed like such a minor, unstable element in the first season, but quickly become a much bigger character.  And fans have threatened to riot if they kill him off!

Kailar if Sword of Dragons was a movie :D
Kailar if Sword of Dragons was a movie :D

So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that Kailar has become such a popular character in The Sword of Dragons…but I was!  As more and more people read The Sword of Dragons and Burning Skies, I hear more people tell me how Kailar is their favorite character, or at the very least the one that interests them the most.

It wasn’t until my girlfriend mentioned why she liked Kailar that I noticed the trend (and then the next day at work, a random person in the hallway stopped to tell me that she is his favorite!)

From Villain to Antihero

Image Source - www.pinterest.com
Image Source – http://www.pinterest.com

If you’ve read the first book, you know that Kailar was one of two villains in The Sword of Dragons.  However, when I first started planning out her character, I knew that I wanted to do something far different from any story I’d written previously.

I had a habit in all of my previous writings of never writing from the perspective of any of the bad guys.  In fact in Star Trek Dragon, the ‘villains’ were often entire species, rather than individuals.  I saw this as a failing in my writing, and I knew I had to change it.

So I started developing a villain who wasn’t bad just to be bad, but who had ambitions and desires, and who really thought of herself as in the right.  In fact from the very beginning, I wanted her goals to be the same as Cardin’s, but how she pursued them was what would set them apart.

I also never intended to have Kailar be a part of the series beyond book 1…but by the time I finished writing book 1, I knew that her story wasn’t done.  I enjoyed writing her too much, and I was already coming up with plans for what to do with her character in book 2.  So it would seem she isn’t just a fan-favorite, but she is becoming a writer’s favorite :D

Burning-Skies-Digital-FinalSo she made her return in Burning Skies…only this time, her story, her journey was much more personal.  Imagine for a moment something you love to do, more than anything else…imagine that your ability to do it was taken away.  If you’re a pilot, imagine that you, for instance, lost fine motor control and could no longer control an aircraft.  A painter who went blind.  A singer who lost her vocal chords.

What would that do to you?  How would it affect you?  Would it tear you apart?

…and what would you do to get it back?  How far would you go?  Would you do anything, or would there be limits?

Kailar’s Journey is Just Beginning

Knowing now that so many people love her character so much, I’m really excited to announce that her journey has just begun!  But where am I taking her, you might ask?

Well…the thing is, she is a chaotic character, an antihero.  So if you’ve finished book 2 and you think you know where she’s going, you might think again.  Her journey will never be a simple one, and there will never be a clear path forward for her.  She will always struggle against the darkness within her, and as much as she wishes to do right by everyone…there will always be obstacles.

But that doesn’t mean writing her character won’t be fun.  She’s a chaos character, after all, they do the things no other character would dream of doing.  So expect more than a few surprises along the way :)

Thanks for reading, everyone!  Stay tuned for news about The Orc War Campaigns, as the series will be returning soon!

-Jon Wasik