Dreaming is the stage when my mind wanders with possibility. Nothing is set. The story is little more than a speck of dust floating through my mind.
While walking down the street, or in the middle of a conversation, random thoughts would pop into my head, so I would pull out my phone and jot them down. I made sure I wrote down everything, because thoughts are often known to enter my head, only to leave again moments later, and I would be left frustrated that I couldn’t remember that amazingly wonderful thought (or at least so it seemed at the time) that simply had to be recorded. But before all this started, before the thoughts could make any sense and be directed toward a specific story, there was a seed. The first idea. The one which sets a story in motion.
In the case of Girl Behind Glass there were two seeds. One that created the relationship between the two main characters, and the other which created the world the stories are set in.
It all started with Willow and Bracken. There was a particular scene which played out in my mind. Specifically, the one between Willow and Bracken after he is brought into the camp at the Protected Area. Things about the scene changed from the original idea, but the core concept remained.
There was a boy who loved a girl.
There was a girl who loved a boy.
He risked everything to find her.
Even though they loved each other, he had become the enemy.
He had red eyes from not blinking.
I wasn’t sure why he didn’t blink, and I didn’t even include it in the first draft, but every time I pictured this scene, his eyes were red. Since I couldn’t get the image out of my head, the redness eventually became a side effect of the serum trials.
Luke wasn’t added into the story until a lot later. There are many love triangles in fiction these days, especially in YA fiction, and I felt tempted to avoid it so not to be categorised as another predictable love triangle, but when it came down to it, I enjoy reading love triangles, and since the story line evolved around these two characters, I decided to go for it.
My children’s school sent home a message informing parents that all food wrappers were to be removed from school lunches to reduce rubbish and help the environment. Items such as muesli bars would need to be removed from the wrapper, and placed inside a plastic container which could then be washed and reused. This struck me as ridiculous. The rubbish would still exist, it just wouldn’t travel to school, and I hardly saw how the increased use of unnecessary plastic containers, which required washing, would help the environment. My mind started to wander to some of the seemingly silly ways which people try to save the planet. I imagined a world where nature had become so protected that it was to the detriment of the human population. This idea twisted into the Establishment. A collection of companies that ran the domed cities, claiming to be saving the planet, while really, they were stripping it. This is how the world behind the glass was born.
The next post will be published on 20th August.
Behind the Glass | Dreaming | World Building
*If you haven’t read Girl Behind Glass yet, it is currently free in the Kindle store – http://goo.gl/KUGZrA