Terrian Chronicles: Why Tarja Titan’s POV Is Not First-Person

The Terrian Chronicles

To avoid all spoilers, I won’t dive into detail regarding Tarja Titan and her role in the Elementals Universe or Terrian Chronicles, so I’ll be cryptic here.

As you may know, The Terrian Chronicles is part of the shared Elementals Universe and also The Renegades Epic. You may have read Tarja Titan, wondering why her POV is third-person past while Braden Hawk’s and Liza Fury’s POV is in first-person, present-tense. If you read Civil War (Chronicles of Rondure: Book I), you will also notice the same regarding Mina Hirai.

So what gives? Why mix and match POVs? I’ve seen differing reactions to my choice behind it. Some readers love it, others hate it, and still others have no opinion really. But the main reason behind it is because, in The Terrian Chronicles, Tarja Titan is the main protagonist. 

There are books that feature other protagonists in The Terrian Chronicles. Liza Fury is one of them, and you may have read my reader magnet, Braden Hawk. He too is the main character and I tell both stories in the same first-person, present. However, there are other reasons behind this decision, and I will discuss them below.

Why Tarja Titan’s POV is third-person, past tense

Tarja Titan’s Role In The Terrian Chronicles and Renegades Epic

Tarja Titan

Tarja’s role in The Renegades Epic puts her on par with other high-profile protagonists in different series – Elementals of Nordica, Sentrys of Terrene, Chronicles of Rondure, with similar roles.

Since these characters either don’t hold a POV or in some cases, the POV is third-person, past-tense, it puts Tarja in lieu with them.

Tarja’s character is similar role-wise, but she is also connected with these characters, which really hones in on the fact that The Renegades Epic and Elementals Universe is a shared one.

But, there is also more than just her role in The Renegades Epic. Tarja is the kind of character that I want you and all my readers to care deeply about. The same holds true for characters in my other series. And I felt with a first-person POV, I could only do so much with her.

Enter Braden Hawk’s and Liza Fury’s stories. Although Tarja is either mentioned (Hawk) or plays just a minor role (Fury), she is also talked about and referred to often. I sort of compare the situation to how much I personally cared about Hannah Ballard in World of the Gateway. Jess Ballard was the obvious main character and her story was first-person, past-tense, so there is a bit of a difference here. But a common denominator also exists: Readers care a lot about Hannah, literally from the moment she and Jess cross paths.

And to rev up the emotional attachment, it made more sense for Braden to tell this story, or Liza, as opposed to Tarja. In a way, you can even think of Tarja Titan as Braden telling the actual story. It’s also a lot like Mina’s story in Chronicles of Rondure. Yeah, you will care for Mina. But odds are, there are other characters you may find yourself more emotionally attached to.

What About Sentrys of Terrene and Elementals of Nordica?

Sentrys of Terrene

If Mina and Braden telling their respective stories heightens emotional attachment, then why not let Tage Ras-Svendson tell the story from a first-person, present-tense POV?

Or Sion Zona in Elementals of Nordica? One of the reasons behind Sion’s lack of first-person POV came because Elementals of Nordica, especially Wind Wielder, is a retelling of an earlier book series of mine that was rich with blood, gore, and suggestive themes – The book literally read like an M-rated video game. 

That book was told in third-person, past-tense, because at the time, I did not yet think about even attempting first-person, present-tense. Had I attempted to write in first-person present in the past, chances are I would have tried it.

Around the time I had released the first incarnation of Wind Wielder under a different name back in 2018 (it was terrible, by the way), I had also written the first drafts of Tarja Titan. 

The Original Tarja Titan

Tarja Titan: Sophomore Year

In that draft, Braden Hawk was actually an investigative journalist while Tarja was a high school student outcast. Her older sister, Stef Titan, and her cousin, Veronica, routinely looked down on Tarja, as did the rest of her family.

In that draft, Tarja lived with her biological parents and she was not the character readers know her for today. Instead, she and her best friend, Floor Jetta, stumble upon a portal that astral projects them to a ceremony run by global elitists – the precursors to my Machi and Intrepid factions.

Tarja actually reached out to Braden following her exposing a small-town faction of elitists, who happen to have a special ability. This is actually something Skeeter Gotham implies in Liza Fury: The Discoveryand it’s later touched on in Catch 22, so there are some nominal links to the original Terrian Chronicles. 

Meanwhile, Kira Myoi was known as Kira Eriksson, and she did not have Spirit Elemental abilities, but a unique ability that I dropped from the series. The Veronica character was combined with another antagonistic character and retooled later into Stacey Peyton. Meanwhile, Liza was actually a problem child from the North Hills of Pittsburgh sent to live with a relative of Braden’s, who he would later act as a mentor to.

This entire book was written in third-person, past tense. Even Braden Hawk’s POV, which only occurred in the first and last chapters. In the end of that book, Braden revealed himself as a Wind Elemental. Anyway, I had a few other books drafted up in The Terrian Chronicles, or the original Terrian Chronicles, that all followed third-person, past-tense POV.

There is yet another link, however: The Tarja Titan, Braden Hawk, and Liza Fury: Discovery covers WERE the intended covers for those respective books. 

A Cut Character

One main character, Brock Patrick, is one who I cut out because I felt he was too much like Braden. But Lenny Cyclone, who appears and plays a minor role in each Terrian Chronicles novel, was originally Brock’s cousin, not Braden’s. Lenny simply one-upped Brock, and possessed no actual Earth Elemental abilities.

The solution? I actually fused Braden and Brock into the same character. Braden, like Brock, often plays second-fiddle to Lenny. He also inherited Brock’s quick to anger personality. In Tarja Titan, you come across a character named Jay Fury. In the original drafts, he was Jay Patrick and he was Brock’s dad and Braden’s former boss. So yeah, a lot changed with Tarja Titan and the entire series, but as mentioned, everything was in third-person, past-tense POV.

But Sentrys Is Original, Right?

If you read Tarja Titan, you know from Chapter One that the book is completely different from its original draft if I can ever locate that draft and share it. Liza Fury: Catch 22 is actually the retooled version of the original Braden Hawk. I actually entitled Catch 22 as Braden Hawk: Catch 22, with Braden playing the principal role.

However, I disliked the plot and Liza got the honor. Mainly because I outlined my way into a corner with Braden. So by switching main characters, I also decided to just go with the first-person, present-tense POV when I retooled it.

Sentrys is the one book whose plot was brand new. So why is Tage Ras-Svendson’s POV not first-person, present-tense? It’s literally made for that! This is because the Tarja Titan type of character in Sentrys does not have a POV. Instead, there are two characters who share POV time: Tage Ras-Svendson and Sabre Kahne Kjaergaard. 

And since Tage loves the Tarja-equivalent so much, the book could have been more of an emotional roller coaster with first-person, present-tense POV. But the problem is, not only is this Tage’s and Sabre’s story to tell, but the tone of Sentrys does not run so deep emotionally.

It has its moments, but overall, Sentrys is the high-octane book series I always wanted to create. It reads more like an action movie than anything else, so I wanted to take the emotional aspect down a notch. In fact, emotional detachment is one of the book’s themes.