Have I mentioned that Flow makes an awesome Christmas present, or other denominational holiday of your choice?
I'm sure I've told this story before, but here's a glimpse into how the novel came about, and it all started with character. To be specific, three short-lived characters in online roleplaying games. I didn't get a chance to play them to my satisfaction for one reason or another, so I decided to give them a new life in a different setting.
Kit initially never got beyond the "application" phase - where the character is created for pitching to the staff of the game. At the time, I was planning on a fantasy game that mixed a few themes, including mythological divinities, with a race of evil beings that hunted them and ate their energy. Kit was designed as an estranged member of this race, but right about as I finished the application ... staff decided to close neutral or good members of this race, as apparently they were getting a flood of them. Curses.
I retooled her for the "beta" phase of another game where I was part of the staff. Besides removing that backstory, I had to tweak the effects of her powers somewhat to fit in with the rules system ... and because I was also brand-new to aforesaid system, the character was haplessly unplayable in action sequences. She never made it out of beta; she did, however, make a brief re-appearance as a demon-borne antagonist from a mirror-realm.
So Kit before I started to work on the novel idea was a collection of bits and bobs, various origins that contradicted each other, and personality traits in potential, but never fully realized. I actually started with her origin story and designed much of the supernatural world history around what I wanted her to be. That world, however, needed another aspect, and I had already found it in the character of ...
And here's Chailyn, water-witch, fish out of water, raised in a world that was never intended for children and plopped into ours. Again, she started as a game character; in this case, she was retired because the game shut down. In her first incarnation, that globe of light she wields in chapter one was actually a fully fleshed character, her "sidekick" - it allowed me to make snarky, biting remarks that were out of character for Chailyn herself. Obviously, with Kit (and Hadrian) around, I didn't need another outlet for quips and banter. I couldn't resist keeping around a hint, though.
Finally, Hadrian was also a character from a game that crashed and burned, this time after I had played no more than a few scenes. The game's story gave me an easy origin for his powers, and he had some more bizarre applications - he could sense people's weak spots and incapacitate / sicken them by touch - that didn't seem appropriate for the setting I was building. Hadrian's origins, as rewritten for Flow, have a hint of mad science to them I haven't really explored in the setting just yet ... they do fit the overall narrative of the world (of course!), but suggest possibilities not yet touched upon.