Hey guys! *Waves awkwardly* Thanks for reading my novel! Although I still have a long way to go, Elemental Spirit was a key part of developing my abilities as a writer, and I'd like to share just how far I've come by telling you guys about what the original plan was, and some other fun facts.
To the guest reviewer: Hello! Awww, thank you so much! I'm really glad I managed to get over my fear as well- I haven't shared anything in real life, but I've shared online, and that's improved both my writing quality and probably by mental health. I'm glad you liked that one as well! I basically came up with the idea because I had writers block for coming up with an idea. Lol. I have, as a matter of fact- two others, both sci-fi. One is the first in a duology with no sequel, and I'm not sure if the sequel will ever be written. Considering it leaves on a cliffhanger, I don't want to post an unfinished series. The other is currently still under editing, but once I'm done with that I think I will end up posting! Posting is really scary, but if you ever find the confidence to share something I'd love to read it! :) It's okay, long reviews are my absolute favorite! I hope you have a lovely day, and thank you again for all the great compliments!
Alright, enjoy the reflections on past me! *Cringes*
-I came up with it January 2019~ish? By "it," I mean a four-POV fantasy book in which there are four elemental kingdoms.
-When I was first planning it out (planning is a strong word) it was a trilogy.
-Vale died in the first "plot outline".
-Leo was originally named Keith. He also liked pugs, a detail I included for an old friend who no longer acknowledges my existence. If you're reading this, now you know who I am-
-Although I have always hated sharing my writing, I explained a vague idea of the plot to a few friends, admitting that I struggled with Vale's characterization. The piece of advice I received was "MAKE HIM A HIPPIE!"
-Skye and Adara was my plan from the beginning. So was Leo and Marella. (My thought process was something like "Well, fire and water end up together, obviously. So how about air and earth? Nahhhh... not gay enough.")
-Skye was initially bisexual, not lesbian.
-Leo is pansexual (gender does not factor in who he likes, personality does).
-Sam's existence was a spontaneous decision. Their gender fluidity was even more spontaneous, based on my annoyance at the lack of gender nonconforming characters in literature.
-I came up with this just at the beginning of when I was realizing how not-straight I was. Including LGBTQ+ characters (two sapphic, one pan, one genderfluid) helped with accepting my identity. This is why queer representation in media is important.
-Marella was originally supposed to just meet River at the very beginning book one, date him and break up with him in book two, and fall for Leo in book three.
-Shanta was first named Shannon Twaite. She had a sidekick with the placeholder name of Bob.
-I planned to have Marella confess to Leo while he was pretending to be unconscious. How much more cliche can I get?
-Adara and Skye have an additional bonus chapter (that was written in Israel!) where Adara teaches Skye how to draw and their lips almost touch. It's cute, but didn't add anything to the plot, so I changed it to the coming out scene.
-Skye used to have an older sister named Helena instead of a younger brother named Zephyr.
-Quintessence wasn't even part of the plot the first time around.
-Skye started out as a thirteen year old. I think she's fifteen in the real thing.
-At first, Shanta wasn't powerless- she could control time and wanted to control everything else.
-The Fire Kingdom was called Fireville. The Air Kingdom was the Airheads.
-Marella fell out of a tree (did I even make a sound-) in my original plan for her first chapter. River found her, and that was how they met.
-As most authors will tell you, names were a struggle. Well, Skye's was glaringly obvious. Marella shares a name with a book character I like, but I chose the name because it means "Shining sea." The two actual characters are vastly different. Leo's name was chosen off a names-meaning-fire list as the most pronounceable. Vale's was found in a similar way, and it comes from the word "valley." I used another website for Adara and instantly loved the name. River's name is obvious, as is Rose's. Sam's I chose because it's gender neutral and I was lazy. The name Shanta means peace, which was intentional irony.
-All of my characters have a little bit of me in them, but I think I'm most like Skye. Adara is based off of my crush and also reflects some of my personality. Except all of my characters are way cooler than I am.
-I found the goddesses names (Masaya, Anatha, Ezili, Medeina) on Wikipedia on a list of deities for each element. Without looking it up, I can't remember the culture each one comes from.
-This story had been started in February 2019 and then abandoned. I started working on it again in maybe October or November 2019 after redesigning the cover. It was finished on April 10th, 2020.
-When I first realized that a book needed 50K words, I had no idea how I was going to get there. Now, it's more than 60K!
-Starting out, I had no idea that I had to write descriptions. I realized their importance in October/November 2019 (About the time I restarted writing). I had just begun stressing about word count and was reading a (terrible, admittedly, but) long book when I noticed several paragraphs dedicated to the setting and adjectives everywhere. Before that, this book was the most hideous thing in the universe.
-I had an epilogue planned until about mid-March, when I realized that I quite honestly hated epilogues. But I still do have some ideas about what happened to the characters, post book. Even though I came up with these, they were never actually included in the novel, so you don't have to accept them as fact.
But if you're curious...
The Quintessence Kingdom ended the war with Water, obviously. Same sex marriage was legalized soon after, and their kingdom automatically had gender equality and a generally positive laws. Well, positive if you're liberal. Which I am. So there. The Air Kingdom was so outraged by this that they tried attacking, but a significant portion of their army was queer or liked Quintessence's values better than Air's, so they all left and Air was hopelessly outnumbered. Skye liked that a lot. Her parents, less so.
I guess? Everyone? Got married? Eventually? I don't really know this one, since I planned for the epilogue to be Leo's beautifully awkward proposal to Marella with no information as to what happens with Skydara and Vale/Rose (Rale? Vose? Rosale? I kinda like that last one). But yeah, I guess you can believe what you want about what happens with the ships. Leo's friend Sam and Vale's brother Armel are, in my head, both aroace, though, and QPPs.
I'm not sure what happened to River. No one from the main group ever felt like keeping in touch with him.
And they all- well, with the exception of River and Skye's parents, who lived miserably ever after, and with the exception of Shanta, who died- but the rest of them lived happily ever after! The end!
Thanks so much for reading!