How did I first come up with this story? Aside from wanting to reuse the characters from The Gate at the End of the World, and Veitlen & Nymue…I don’t entirely remember. Then again, it takes quite a while for most of my stories develop. Most of this happens in my head, and I don’t start writing down notes until things are much more concrete.
I do, however, remember some of my initial ideas.
The very first idea: A boy (Veitlen, though he had a different name at first) discovered he was a witch, which was a very bad thing in his society. He fled into the forest to join some other witches. One of those other witches was definitely Morgaine, but I don’t remember anything about the others.
This Veitlen would have ended up a lot more similar to the Veitlen in The Gate at the End of the World. The story would have been a lot darker, too.
Eventually I settled on something resembling the characters & plot of The Land of Two Moons. Originally, I didn’t know what kind of setting I wanted the story to take place in. I seriously considered a high-tech cyberpunk city at some point. That would have made things very different, as it would have been more about investigating & opposing the Avatar & government.
I had two choices with the character’s ages: teens or adults, and I went with adults because teenagers with magic powers is a bit too large a genre. Also, I’ve lost interest in YA literature as I’ve gotten older.
At some point, there was flower symbolism along with the spirit weapons, which I dropped because that would have been too much going on.
I spent quite a while deliberating on what I wanted the spirit weapons to be made out of. Veitlen had a sword made out of glass, and that was something I really didn’t want to change. I hadn’t come up with a theme, and had no idea what I wanted anyone else’s spirit weapons to be made of.
Then I watched Land of the Lustrous and thought about gemstones. There are hundreds of them, and that also gave me the ability to use the Seven Treasures. Then I realized there could be seven Avatars instead of one, and have each Avatar correspond to one of the treasures.
This was a very last minute decision that ended up driving the whole story. And then there ended up being more Buddhist influences, because they ended up fitting the story really well. Sometimes that’s what happens.
Speaking of Buddhist influences, the demons in The Land of Two Moons are essentially hungry ghosts, and it took me until about halfway through writing the story for me to realize exactly what I’d reinvented.