Character Building – By Ian Esslemont (+Giveaway)

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Guest Post by Ian C. Esselmont


World building is a huge part of “fantasy” writing, but what about character building? Do you have a specific process you follow? A favorite character?

It’s true that in fantasy much is made of ‘world building.’  However, none of that achieves anything in fiction without character building.  Rich histories, political intricacies, etc, none of this compels like character.  For me, there’s no particular process in establishing or filling out a character.  It pretty much takes care of itself.  I usually have particular points of view I want to follow to ‘show’ certain plot lines.  When I start the point of view, that character, it either takes off and comes alive or it doesn’t, and I drop it and try again.  The best moments come when I’m surprised by what is supposed to be a minor character and that man or woman comes alive and takes over  — that’s when I know to run with that character and change all the plans I might’ve had.  It’s really rewarding as a writer when that happens.  Nait, from Return of the Crimson Guard, is one example of this.  He was supposed to be more of a ‘fly on the wall’ point of view on the battle, but refused to be subordinate and just took over.  I went with it and out of that came a wonderful demonstration of how ‘legendary’ squads or ‘personalities’ in any military or other organization, might emerge.


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About The Book

In the western sky the bright emerald banner of the Visitor descends like a portent of annihilation. On the continent of Jacuruku, the Thaumaturgs have mounted another expedition in a bid to tame the neighbouring wild jungle. Yet this is no normal wilderness. It is called Himatan, and it is said to be half of the spirit-realm and half of the earth. And it is said to be ruled by a powerful entity who some name the Queen of Witches and some a goddess: the ancient Ardata.

Saeng grew up knowing only the rule of the magus Thaumaturgs – but it was the voices from that land’s forgotten past that she listened to. And when her rulers launch their invasion of this jungle, those voices send her and her brother on a desperate mission.

To the south, the desert tribes are united by the arrival of a foreign warleader, a veteran commander in battered ashen mail men call the Grey Ghost. This warrior leads these tribes on a raid unlike any other, deep into the heart of Thaumaturg lands.

While word comes to K’azz, and mercenary company the Crimson Guard, of a contract in Jacuruku. And their employer? Could it be the goddess herself…

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About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.

3 thoughts on “Character Building – By Ian Esslemont (+Giveaway)

  1. That’s really interesting. World building definitely does get all of the attention in fantasy, but I agree that character building is so important. i mean, even fi the world is amazing, I’m not going to finish a book if the characters are flat.

  2. This looks so great! Thanks for sharing with us! I adore that cover as well.
    Books like this make me wonder whether the author had any influence from friends and family while writing it.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

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