This book has been my heart and soul project since October 2013. It's not published yet, and I also chose to put a pause on querying it for a huge reason. I'm working on making this story the best it can be. This story has gone through a few huge rewrites, so I'll give you a little bit of a history lesson on the writing process of this book.

October/November 2013:

I was in my freshman year of college and I finally had uninterrupted "me" time. By "me" I mean writing/binge watching TV shows. One of those shows was the UK version of Big Brother (may that show rest in peace). I was also in love with the movie edition of City of Bones (I still adore that movie). One of the first characters I had in mind for this book wasn't even a main character, but a side character named Marcus. I pictured him to look like Jamie Campbell Bower, and that was it. I had a character and soon enough, I had a story forming in my head.

 

When I drafted this book (finished at a little over 50,000 words), it was basically like a Dystopian Hogwarts. It was a mess, the title was a mess, but it was mine. It was also the very first time I wrote a full novel that wasn't fanfiction. Go me! 

Vigilant

October/November 2015

That's right, folks, I put this project aside for two years. After NaNoWriMo, I set this book aside and let it simmer. To be honest, I still think that is the best decision I've ever made in regard to this book. I began to think about the plot and how I could change it. Everything began to come together, and I was already more in love with this book than ever before. So, I began writing and writing and writing. The words and ideas never stopped.

January 2016

This is when I discovered a little show that would help shape characters and for me to discover what I really loved about this book. I watched The 100 and everything felt right in the world. Cheesy? Probably, but it's true. This show had a rocky start. The first four episodes weren't the most exciting, but once you hit episode four, I never stepped out of the lane of this show because it is a game changer. I loved the characters because they reminded me so much of my own. Aurelia was so much like Clarke it was almost uncanny...and that's when my face claims for my characters began to shift. Aurelia went from Ginny Gardner to Eliza Taylor...Arrow from Theo James to Bob Morley...Harlowe from Alexandra Daddario to Marie Avgeropoulos. It didn't happen immediately, but I think watching Bellamy, Clarke, and Octavia really helped shape these characters, their motives, and what it meant for my book.

2018

2017 was pretty much me working on this book, so nothing exciting happened. In 2018, however, I was finally where I wanted to be with this book...at that point. So I began querying. I got rejected...a lot. But I never gave up hope. I worked on other projects to keep me from the nerves, but there was a doubt in my mind. What if this book isn't what it's meant to be? What if there's a whole different story these characters are meant to tell and they are just in the wrong circumstances?

December 2018 - Present (2019)

So, we reach today. In December, I began to jot down ideas of things I wanted to do in the second book for this series because I realized that I was more excited to write the second book rather than pursue the first. That should have been the biggest give away, guys, but it took me too damn long to realize it. Once I did, I paused querying indefinitely, and began to plan in a frenzy. As I'm putting together this outline with the settings, the world is becoming something so organically amazing. The 100 is definitely a huge influence, and I also plan to do some reading on historical events and whatnot to get a grasp for other things. My novel went from Dystopian to Post-Apocalyptic and I can't be any more proud of this book. It's finally getting to where it was meant to be. 

I'm sure many of you are wondering why I'm going through all this work for one book? Simple. I loved these characters too much to let them go. I want them to have their best story and get their endings. I want them to be epic like the characters that helped inspire them. I can't wait to see where they land when I'm done.

Aesthetic

** I own none of the images, they belong to their rightful owners. This is just to showcase the feel of the story/what my characters look like. **

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© Copyright 2019 A.J. Winter. All Rights Reserved.