How did you get your novel idea?This question was posted on the OYAN forums and I answered it with a history of the Fallor/Jeline trilogy.
This isn't just for all your stories, this is for your NOVEL. THE novel. The one that was inspired by a song or a dream and the one that you obsess over.
I have several books I'm in LOVE with. First and foremost (at the moment, mind) is Revenge. But I can't really start with that. Honestly, I can't. I really have to start with Fallor, the hero, because the story has changed so many times that it really just focuses around him.
I first 'came up' with Fallor five years ago, only he wasn't Fallor--he was Robin Hood. I wrote little dabbles of him and his daughter Brinian. They fought magicians, teamed up with sorcerers, went to the Renaissance Festival (twice!), and had various other adventures. Some of them involved Samii's characters, some of them didn't. I actually have a few of those stories lying about... I should find them.
Samii and I then started a story about an elf named Jeline and a thief named Kahil. At some point in the story, Kahil was stumped by Jeline's problem with the EOR and took her to see his cousin... guess who? Robin Hood! Of course, instantaneous romance ensued between Robin and Jeline, and they defeated the EOR and got married at the end. (What can I say? I was 11 at the time!)
I left him alone for a while and moved on to Belerion, Viggo, Mercia, and others. Of course, he was still inside my head and frequently appeared in conversations between Samii and me, and eventually sparked an idea. How in the world did he become an outlaw in the first place? I thought about the traditional Robin Hood, and talked to Samii about it. She yelled at me and told me that he needed a better "outlaw" name. I kept his first name, but changed his Great and Terrible Outlaw Name to the Fox.
THEN I set about writing down Robin's past. His name was Robert Huntingdon the Tenth, a prince of Hareem. His father let him do archery, and he was older than Kahil. Fallor's brother was named Corin, and he had an unmentioned sister... Rayon came with his son Scarlett at one point, and taught Fallor more archery. Then Corin killed their father for no reason, blamed Robin, and Robin ended up in jail. He escaped and robbed people. When he finally met Jeline, they actually threatened each other.
So that was an interesting little short story, and Samii and I continued to write about Robin and Jeline, and their daughter Brinian, in a huge project we called The Brie Saga. I still have all of it lying around on my computer and in notebooks... It's awful, but maybe I'll type it up sometime and read it just for laughs.
Then two summers ago, Samii and I decided to rewrite the initial Robin/Jeline story (originally titled The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Untold Saga). I changed Robin's name to Fallor and we took off, finishing Love in a mere week. I loved it and poured over it with much love. I loved it so much that I ended up writing Fallor's full backstory for NaNoWriMo '09. Surprisingly, it didn't deviate too much from the short story. I changed names, of course, and added a few random things. So that's how Forgiven and Love came about.
Revenge was born right after we finished Love. We had a full page of random notes and we started writing, but only got to about Chapter 7 before we stopped. I picked it up a couple months ago, applied the Snowflake method to it, and came out with the fourth novel I've ever written.
I feel like the ideals and themes in Revenge are ones the whole world needs to hear--revenge never pays. Forgiveness gives freedom. Great love has no man than this--that he lays down his life for his friends. Forgiveness is something I've struggled with forever, and I feel like God is teaching me lessons even as I write and rewrite these novels. They are very special to me and I want to use them to change the world.