Alex Winters was a work in progress from the earliest days of starting the novel, to the last day of editing. I’d love to tell you that I always knew who she was right away, and she never changed from the start, but that’s just not the case.
That’s not to say that I didn’t know anything. As I said in my last post of this series, Alex was always blonde. And from the second I wrote the sentence, she was always from Boston, and always a Red Sox fan. Beyond that, she just developed as I wrote the book.
By the end of the first few chapters I was starting to have a better idea of who Alex was, and what kind of person she was. I knew she didn’t take any nonsense from anybody, and she was independent and liked it that way. Part of the struggle I think for Alex, as she explores Aquillon, was just shedding herself of that loner mentality, and accepting help from wherever it came. Aquillon’s a dangerous place after all.
One of my favorite things about writing the book was discovering Alex’s internal voice, and really getting inside her head-space as I wrote. As the chapters flew by, she had a stronger and stronger voice, until by the end of the novel, I knew exactly who she was, and her place in Aquillon, which is basically when it happens for her too, so I guess you could say we came to the conclusion together.
I hope you enjoy Alex’s journey as much as I did. In the next entry in this series, we’ll explore Alex’s supporting cast of characters. Until then!
Aquillon was born in dreams. I distinctly remember waking up one night from a particularly vivid dream, the details fresh in my mind. This wasn’t the first time this had happened, but something about this dream was different. It was more real, more visceral than others before it so I ran straight to my computer and started writing. An hour later, the five page primer that would eventually become Aquillon was sitting in front of me.
It took a couple of days before I could work on it again, but I knew I had something good. It was a world that fascinated me and I wanted to know more about it, so as I looked at the details I had, I started to ask myself questions. Where does this person live? How did this part of the world get its name? Why does this region look like this? After several days of asking myself these questions I had what resembled a breathing world, and a functioning mythos.
From concept to finishing the first novel, many things changed. Concepts were thrown out, names were altered, and plenty of details were re-written. Three things never changed from my dream though.
The name Aquillon. That was the place’s name, and I knew that from the start. The lion was always there as well. Menacing and fierce, with piercing red eyes, he was always there, waiting for someone to challenge him. Then there was the girl. I didn’t know her name at first, but she was always there, standing tall against the darkness, blonde hair flying in the wind. Those were the details I had to start with, and from that, the story slowly began to take shape.
To be continued…