I started writing my first novel when I was thirteen. It was called Never Trust A Hybrid and it was a girl who discovered that her father wasn’t dead… he was undead. What was planned was a journey of self-discovery, acceptance of one’s self and role in life, and internal debate on the nature of good and evil and whether it is nature or nurture that shapes you.
Not bad for a thirteen year old, I think. Unfortunately my thirteen year old self did not have the dedication to see the story through and even if I did I suspect it wouldn’t be as good as Blood Bound is today. Eight or nine years was good for me in that respect.
However Never Trust A Hybrid is not lost: it still leaves traces of influence on Blood Bound. One character survived from Hybrid and now is firmly settled into the BB universe. He is mentioned throughout BB, makes his first appearance in the sequel and was last seen shaking his fist at the sun.
Of course, Athanasios has changed since Hybrid: he is no longer the protagonist’s father (Delia: “Thank God!). His name is no longer Marcus/Mars and he was no longer identified with the god of the same name (in fact, he’s gone slipping down the Roman social ladder, all the way down to “slave”). On the flipside, he is still seen by some as a stupid radical for changing the way things have been done for centuries. He still has a surprisingly warm and fatherly demenour. He still has a fondness for modern technology.
Characters and stories evolve within themselves as well as from older, deceased works. I first came up with the concept of The Superhero Diaries back in 2006. Since I resurrected the idea there have been a number of changes.
- The overall plot has changed, while the opening sequence is still very similar in events.
- In the 2006 version, Gaia was called “Diana”. Now she is “Georgie”.
- The German superhero (whose civilian name is) “Aylin” was called “Sabine”. Now Sabine is someone else, although connected to Aylin.
- “Diana” lived with her parents and two younger brothers, aged 7 and 10. “Georgie” lives with her mother, stepfather and twin stepbrothers (aged 13).
Many things remain the same as stories evolve but some things do change. I can see how my own writing has evolved, just as The Superhero Diaries has evolved from its 2006 idea into the 2009 draft. Characters change and grow, new ideas are added and entire planned scenes are dropped (I learned this in BB when I had to cut some scenes because they didn’t fit anymore - I am still sad that the vampire macarena scene between Charlie and Jared is not mentioned in-text now).
In a shameless plus that is not related to evolution of stories etc. but is about growth in a way, some friends and I have just opened up Bibliocon, a forum for the discussion of YA fiction (and other types as well. :P). So if you’re interested, join! Help Bibliocon grow. Help it evolve.