I’ve always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I was living in Japan and made friends with an aspiring author that I really picked up the pen again in earnest and began working on the Air Awakens series for fun. My friend and I commuted about 2 hours in total every day together, and we’d spend our car rides talking about writing, our worlds, and our characters.
Naturally, from time to time, writing theory would come up and we’d talk about various approaches. I learned a lot during these “sessions”, as she was far more studied than I on the matter. One day we were discussing world building. I was lamenting over all of these things that I wanted to accomplish in the Air Awakens world and cool tidbits I really wanted to show my readers, but wouldn’t come to light much later in the story. This prompted the following from her,
“I always try to focus on characters first. The world is important, but if people don’t care about your characters they won’t spend enough time in the world to learn about what makes it cool.”
I’m paraphrasing what she said but the idea really stuck with me. So, when I was writing Air Awakens I worried less about the overall plotting in my initial draft(s) and more about creating compelling characters. As a result, I had a lot of editing to do on the back end before publication to tighten up the plot, but I think it was a really excellent exercise in creating engaging characters for my readers.
For the Alchemists of Loom, I planned a lot more. I built my world and characters strategically in advance. I had detailed character sheets of likes, dislikes, personality types, etc… But, when I launched into writing, half of it went out the window. Cvareh wasn’t the man I thought he was. Arianna wasn’t as nearly withdrawn and bitter as I imagined her. Florence really ran with her character. And, a lot of side characters demanded more important roles in the world on the whole than I had originally allotted.
So while I plan more now, I still keep the idea that it’s in the characters where the heart of the story lies, and that has to evolve naturally. If I don’t let them grow and change as the story demands, then they end up feeling forced and one-dimensional to me. And if they feel that way to me, they surely will to my readers.
About The Alchemists of Loom
The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1)
by Elise Kova
Publisher: Keymaster Press
Publication Date: January 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Her vengeance. His vision.
Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.
Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.
When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.
He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.
About the Author
Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the upcoming Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).