A Life of Its Own
When I first started working on Issaura’s Claws, I had a very good idea of who my main players were going to be—which were heroes and which were villains. I also knew the basic format the plot would take and how the book would end. The prologue and first few chapters took form rather smoothly. Lluava, the seventeen-year-old Theriomorph from the seaside village of Rivendale, is drafted in the war and heads off to train for the battles to come.
However, somewhere along the way, a named character took shape with a personality so strong that I knew he would return later on in the story. Byron essentially wrote himself into a leading role. Yes. You read that right. He wrote himself into being. In his initial scene, all I needed was a human to show Lluava some compassion during her journey to the training camps. That was it. Yet by the time Byron drops Lluava off at Thowcelemine, the training camp for the female Theriomorphs, I knew he would reappear, somehow, in some way. I actually began to worry that he might become too prominent upon his return; thankfully, his storyline fit perfectly into place.
I know there must be some skeptics out there that cannot fathom the idea that characters can write their own stories. But for me, this has been the case more than once. Even though I have known the overarching end games for all four books in this series, there have been multiple characters that either appeared out of the blue and took on important roles or ended up changing allegiances or even dying on me when I had planned and desired for them to have different outcomes. Nevertheless, I must be true to whom they are. They have their own stories to tell. I just ink them on paper.
I have come to realize that once a story or epic is born, my only purpose as the author is to serve as a biographer for the characters I have come to know and love. They tell me their stories and I write them down.