Writers, particularly fantasy writers, often get asked, ‘Where did you come up with that idea?’ expecting a great revelation or epiphany, matching the gravitas of your ideas.
Of course, the answer you give is always disappointing. ‘I thought of it in the car stuck in traffic.’
The disappointment on people’s faces is telling, but I assume I cut a more annoyed figure. Why? For me, it’s the wrong question to ask a writer.
‘How did your idea evolve?’ Now that’s the right question!
The Junction 1 is not just a bad pun, but an indication that is going to be a topic covering numerous blog posts. You could say it will be a multiple-junction journey. From initial scrawlings to the final product, a book goes through a lot of change, growth and editing before it appears on a shelf in a bookshop. I’m doing this exercise because I wanted to detail the development of my ideas, but also give context to some of the decisions I have made within the Successor of Ramiel.
So we begin with nothing to do with Zera or Ramiel. As I mentioned in my About page, I’ve been experimenting with fantasy archetypes for some time. The first time I toyed with the idea of Angels was in a story far removed from the modern setting. In a dark future, an energy company rules the world by complete control over the world’s energy source, the Dyson Sphere. This sphere encases the Sun and sends the energy back to Earth, rather than let it escape into the cold depths of space. All was well for the company, but not the people, until this company drilled too deep in a mine, searching for the raw materials needed to maintain the Dyson Sphere. Down there, they broke the seal of a malevolent entity that called itself ‘Lucifer’ and started to infect people, converting them into Angels, complete with wings and strange powers. We’ll call this project – ‘Virus Angel.’
Around this time, the idea popped into my head of another series containing Angels, one set in the modern setting, revolving around the age-old fight between Heaven and Hell. We’ll call this project Core Angel. Whilst more traditional in concept, I found the characters that were emerging in this project far more fun to write, particularly their interactions with each other. More and more of my energy was devoted to Core Angel, but I still liked the underlying concept of Virus Angel. I did try and put the Core Angel characters into Virus Angel, altered to match the context. This idea ran out of steam so I focused Core Angel development independently. Virus Angel is an idea that I was like to revisit in full, but I couldn’t develop strong enough characters to hold the story together, but might be revived far into the future. Some ideas have been implemented into concepts explored in Successor of Ramiel. (I’ll let you guys guess which in the fullness of time.)
TO BE CONTINUED
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©Oliver Kerrigan 2017