Daniel Marten crossed the Burning Sea and convinced himself that he is the Prophesied One. But what does that mean? In this second installment of the Prophecy Chronicles trilogy, Daniel forges new alliances in his bid to save Naphthali from the Emperor. He meets the Tene’breon, a magical race that has evolved to use the Weave as effortlessly as he breathes air. The leaders of this race recognize him for what he is…but they also see something more.
Naphthali has been dramatically altered by the rule of a new governor, a man whose power is tied to Daniel in a horrifying way. How far will Daniel go to save Naphthali? And what is the secret that binds his destiny with his new allies? Only time will tell in The Prophecy Chronicles: Prophecy Revealed.
By Ron Hartman
Where does a good character come from? And what is a good character, for that matter? Obviously you’d want someone compelling, someone that has their own story. You don’t want every character to only be there to further the story you’re trying to tell. If you do, it ends up all sounding like one character with many voices, rather than the concrete individuals you’re actually creating.
I think a good example of this is Daniel Marten, the central character in The Prophecy Chronicles. He is where the entire project started. I had a nucleus of an idea: a man taken from his family for reasons he can’t understand, who is driven to find a way home even though others are constantly trying to move him at cross-purposes to his own. Sounds like a good start, right? I knew I wanted a man that loved his family deeply, that couldn’t imagine life without them. I also needed a man that had something unique about him. It didn’t necessarily need to be the trait others were trying to exploit, but it did need to be something that could develop as his adventure unfolds.
As with all my characters, I spent a lot of time with Daniel, thinking about what that would mean for him. How would he relate to the people around him? Would he believe the story he’s being told, that he is a prophesied savior, or would he need proof? Even then would he believe? Would there ever be anything that would make him forsake his family? I wanted to answer those questions, but above all I wanted him to be unexpected, and have room to grow.
I wanted Daniel to be a hero, so he started out as an antihero. I wanted him to be strong, so came into the world of Naphthali weak. That gave me the basis for growth, but he couldn’t be a clean slate. He had to start somewhere. I wanted him to be genuine, compassionate, and believable. In my full-time job, I’m a pharmacist, a member of “the most trusted profession in America”, so I know a thing or two about compassion. Consequently it was an easy decision to make Daniel a member of the same noble profession. I guess that is also the crux of a central character—write what you know. If you’re a pharmacist, you don’t make your protagonist an astrophysicist. If you can’t make the character believable, you’re asking for trouble!
So there I had the basis for my character, a man I was going to do horrible things to. I was going to send him through a crucible, to forge him into something different. I knew he’d change, but I didn’t realize at the time the extent to which the things I did was going to affect him. Keep in mind, this is a real person now, not just an automaton to do my bidding. After all, I’m just a writer.
Daniel has changed since the story started, when he awoke on a battlefield. He is stronger, but he’s also scarred. He carries the sacrifices of those that believe in him like a heavy weight around his shoulders. It bows him, and at times almost buries him. I really do feel sorry for Daniel, a nice guy that was minding his own business until he became a character in my story.
Will he find the strength to be the man I wanted him to be? The man I thought he was when the trilogy was nothing more than an outline? There is something about him that makes me think he will, or at least I hope so. As I said, I had a hand in his creation, but he’s his own man now. I never imagined he’d carry such a burden, but he soldiers on, looking for a way to find his family and save Naphthali…
So that brings us back to the original question: where does a good character come from? I could say he sprang from my mind, fully formed, but that is a little too arrogant to be true. I think a good character starts with an idea. You mold that idea as best you can, and then you just…let him go. Send him out into the world and see what happens. If you’re lucky, he’ll go where you want, but he just might surprise you.
He heard a noise and turned to see Meadow Song walking across the map room at the tower's top. He walked through the double doors to greet her and was surprised when she pulled him in close, hugging him tight. His left arm wrapped around her waist and his hand slid up her back until it cupped the base of her neck. She tilted her head up as he leaned in and their lips brushed together. Her tongue darted in his mouth, soft and sweet, and a hot rush bloomed inside him as he pressed into her, responding to her need with his own. Barely registering over his desire, a part of Daniel's mind whispered, so different from Ashley. The feel, the taste…
He gasped and pulled away. Meadow Song looked up at him, her eyebrows raised. "What is it?" Her voice was low and husky.
Daniel hesitated before breathing, "I-I love you."
Her face lit with a soft radiance. "And I you. Why do you stop?"
Daniel's arm fell away and he stepped back. It was too easy to lose his resolve when he stood in her warm embrace. "I can't," he whispered. He closed his eyes and saw Ashley. "I may never see them again, but I can't betray them."
Meadow Song frowned before understanding dawned. "Ashley is a fortunate woman." Daniel's heart wrenched at the pain in her whisper.
Ron Hartman has had a life-long passion for the written word and is an avid reader. The Prophecy Chronicles are his first written works. The first in the series, Prophecy Foretold, was released in October of 2012. Prophecy Revealed is the second in the trilogy. Ron graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2000 and lives in Ottumwa, Iowa with his wife and three children.
Website link: www.prophecychronicles.com
Purchase link at Rogue Phoenix Press: http://shop.roguephoenixpress.ieasysite.com/category_v3.aspx?categoryid=96
Ron will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter and a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn host during this tour and the Review Tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway