Hi, Caitlin! As mentioned above, you’re part of the SWTOR Writing Team. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hey everyone! My name is Caitlin Sullivan Kelly, and I’m a Game Writer on Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’ve been with BioWare Austin for seven years, and I started on the SWTOR team as a Quality Analyst focusing on the Forged Alliances arc and Shadow of Revan expansion’s World and Quest Design. I later became a Narrative Specialist (someone who ensures the story’s quality by providing feedback to the Narrative teams) for several different BioWare projects. This was my main responsibility for many years before I moved into my current position.
And like many others on our awesome team, I love absolutely everything about the Star Wars universe.
What are some other story pieces you’ve contributed for SWTOR? Has your writing process changed over time?
One of my favorite contributions is the codex entry for “The Ash’ad” on Onderon (and yes, I consider codex entries to be stories!). I was tasked with creating a backstory for the Mandalorians that Shae Vizla wants eliminated, so I wrote one in the form of a journal entry written by a character I created, Mirli Lok. Little did I know that the Ash’ad would become such an important part of our current Mandalorian story!
The first event I wrote was the All Worlds Ultimate Swoop Rally. I wrote the main introductory mission, the Swoop Gang story arcs, and all the characters (minus Raossk and the Pit Screamers arc, that was the incomparable Allison Berryman).
I don’t think my writing process has changed too much over time, but I’ve definitely noticed a consistent trend: my writing style tends to be very character-focused. I want to know what every character wants, I want to know why they do the things they do, I want every character to have a past, right down to the “unimportant” NPC that you may not even notice lurking in the background.
I think that method of storytelling offers an interesting perspective. Events that feature a big bad (like Darth Malgus) in a mystical space (like a Jedi Enclave) might seem like they’re the only incidents that could shake the foundation of an entire galaxy. But when you focus on characters, you easily see how a rogue group of Mandos or a rowdy gang of swoop bikers are just as important when you’re trying to build a living, breathing, interesting world.