Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guest Post: Kevin Villegas, author of Sunwright Chronicles: Empire at War

In today's post, for the first time at Riftwatcher, I turn the reins over to someone else.

Please welcome author Kevin Villegas, who is currently on a blog tour to promote his fantasy novel, The Sunwright Chronicles: Empire at War. Today, he'll be discussing the character development process he used during the creation of his novel.

The Characters of Empire at War

In my novel, I decided to focus on creating deep, realistic characters. One of the ways I set about accomplishing this was to not have the story center around one character. There is no single hero in the book, as there is no single enemy. I don't like to work in the world of black and white. I like shades of grey. The characters undergo transformations through the book, and I think this is most evident in Claudius. When I write a character, I take a lot of things into consideration. 

Let's use Claudius for an example. First of all, there is the base personality to work out. Claudius is very well- educated. He has been raised amongst the Elves of Garion. His mother was full elf and his father human. He is calm and serene, but at the same time, he is strong a natural leader. He's naive when it comes to the certain things, such as temptation and the true meaning of warfare. So right there, you have a base personality: Claudius is a naturally calm person, he has a strong personality and is a leader not a follower. At the same time, he tends to be naive about certain things. 

The next thing I take into consideration is the culture of the character. Claudius was raised and lived among the Elves of Garion. This means is he is well-educated and versed in combat. He has also learned the importance of the individual amongst society. The most important lesson drilled into him was that kings are meant to lead not by divine right but by the blessing of their people. 

Now we have the base personality and the cultural influence on the character. Next starts the really fun part of writing a character, the actual creation process! When I'm writing, I become the character. Knowing their personality, I will move forward and as the story develops, so too will the character. I try not to think ahead regarding a character's decision or reaction to a certain event, I let my imagination flow. When writing I try not to second guess myself, and I don't like to change the decisions of my characters for fear of what may happen to the storyline. If the storyline is carried in a direction I didn't expect, I think that's great. That's the creative process at wok. Surprising things can happen when you don't map out ever aspect of a character. It is especially fun to have two characters interacting with one another who would not talk to each other in a normal situation. In my case, I have Calia and Liz. I don't want to give away too much, so suffice it to say these two strong independent women have conflicting personalities that lead to some interesting interactions. 

If you enjoy strong, well-developed characters, you will enjoy "The Sunwright Chronicles: Empire at War." I hope you have enjoyed this guest blog post. 


Thanks for sharing with us, Kevin.

Kevin maintains a website dedicated his series at

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