June 12, 2012

creating a unique world, characters in ya fiction

Blogger's note: I am pleased to welcome back Suzan Battah to Change the Word as part of her Chick Lit Plus blog tour. Check out my review of BaSatai: Outside In.

Creating a Unique World and Characters in YA Fiction

By Suzan Battah
Guest blogger

Young Adult Fiction is so much fun to write. It begins with innocence of youth with a broad, very unique point of view of the world. What makes it more exciting to write is when you include fantasy and paranormal elements. I love delving into different worlds, creating a whole new aspect of rules, cultures, powers and creatures than throwing in a whole bunch of characters filled with different ideals, values and personalities.

For BaSatai: Outside In #1 I was determined to create something as unique as possible without doing a readers head in. Something that was easy to understand but also made the readers think. First I started with the concept of a blood curse, the parallel divide between two worlds and the BaSatai born to protect the gate between the two worlds.

2010 is where BaSatai: Outside In was first developed. I was on holiday in South America, visiting family and the idea just walked into my head. I began to sketch some concepts down and plot the journey. With the characters, I formed a more in depth description and began to understand their personalities and traits. Throwing these characters into adventure and see where they go.

Female characters are so much harder for me to write than male characters but I wanted the main character to be female so Armani was developed. I've had feedback from some readers that they found Armani a bit annoying and I agree, in the first book she struggles with her identity, she doesn't just fall into line as everyone would expect and she complains about it because it sits heavily on her conscious. I wouldn't change the direction I took with Armani, she whined a bit, struggled with herself and understanding the BaSatai but that's all part and parcel with growing up and learning. I remember being a teenager it was a challenge developing and growing and yes I complained but grew up and out of it. I would love for readers to watch how Armani develops into the strong character she is.

Rafael is addictive, lovable, brooding and gorgeous. The BaSatai culture is very much a born for each other type of people. Armani has been thrown into a whole new world, Rafael struggles in trying to understand her. His love for her is a given which she can't accept straight away being cursed and having every type of supernatural trying to kill her. Their relationship is unique and Rafael may come across as overbearing but he'll learn to understand Armani just as she will grow and acknowledge who she is.

Karhl is the Guardian, born to live, protect and die for Armani. Guardians are unique in that they are male BaSatai with extraordinary abilities. They don't evolve and shift like the BaSatai Warriors who are both male and female. They also are very arrogant and annoying to the BaSatai which is fun to write disagreements.

Creating H-trae was not hard, I imagined a paradise with the most fantastical, dark and light of magical creatures living there with the most perfect weather. The BaSatai maintain the balance and order and with a blood curse hanging over their heads it is a life of uncertainty to follow until the curse is fulfilled or broken.

I loved creating the BaSatai world and certainly the language was fun to play with. Some readers have worked out the mystery which is very simple, others didn't so easily but I've received some positive feedback.

As a writer, I find that music has inspired me to be creative in my written work and I can visualize scenes almost immediately. I didn't really need to research this book as the creation of this world is my own concept. However, I did make lots of plot drafts and characterization notes to keep tract with such a complex setting. Of course when I start to write, my fingers have a mind of their own and you never know what might happen. Even I wasn't expecting the ending of BaSatai: Outside In ... it happened because it was meant to.

About Suzan

Suzan Battah is a proud Australian born author who has loved to write since her teenage years. In 2011 she published her first novel a contemporary multicultural romance - Mad About the Boy
In her spare time she weaves magical tales to entertain. Suzan writes YA Fiction - Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, Regency Romance and Contemporary Romance. 
Other fun things you can find her doing is training at the gym and Latin/Ballroom dancing. Suzan is afraid of heights, loves most things that are sweet, has no clue about fashion and one day hopes to speak Spanish fluently. Her second novel a YA Urban Fantasy Adventure - BaSatai: Outside In was published April 14.
Connect with Suzan
Twitter: @suzanbattah

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  1. Love this post, I was curious about the same thing!

  2. The characters sound great.