Thank you to Linzé Brandon for hosting me on her blog to help promote Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. This is the final book of my fantasy adventure series, which has spanned 15 volumes. After working on it for so long, I’ve found that one of my favorite parts of writing is to create and evolve characters. My heroes drove the story, traveled to reveal the world, and took whatever I threw at them without voicing too many complaints.
Many people have told me that they think it’s easier to evolve a character in a long series because you have time. I’ve learned that it’s not as easy as it looks and there are plenty of pitfalls when it comes to development. The biggest challenge is making sure the characters don’t go stale and fall into a rut. While there should be a core that remains stable, you need to be on the lookout for a plateau. Once you hit that, the hero has to either retire, find a bigger mountain, or get knocked back down. How do the three options work:
- Retire means they’re out and whatever was connected to them has to either be closed or handed off to someone else. I’m not a big fan of this unless it was planned because you have to depend on the audience accepting it. Characters develop fans who may not keep reading if their favorite is gone.
- Find a bigger mountain means developing news skills and traits on top of what they already had. Fresh subplots and a twist in the main plot can help here. Yet, you have a risk here as well. The character may become so powerful that people no longer believe there’s a possibility of them failing.
- Knocked back down is my favorite because it feels the most realistic. We all have our highs and lows in life, but a hero would be more susceptible. Their adventures leave them more exposed to loss and pain. If they’re kicked from the plateau then they have to get back there while battling the sense that they made a mistake. This can only be done so many times though, but it works out well for a long series because it requires time.
While not as major, I also learned that later outlines might not survive a character’s real personality. Many chapters were changed because a plan didn’t account for how I would write the character. I’ve come to depend a lot on my heroes, villains, and supporting cast when it comes to forming subplots and direct events more than my outlines. Those are guidelines for the characters to either agree to or toss in the garbage.
Again, thank you to Linze Brandon for letting me be a guest. Hope everyone who checks out Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age enjoys the adventure.
Author Bio & Social MediaCharles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world.
After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere.
He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.
All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN