PMC Spoilery Things Pt. 1
There are 5 books. It only makes sense that I break this into parts. Now, I call this 'spoilery' but the chances are that these threads will be more 'behind the scenes' than anything. Just a kind of breakdown of all the things that went into making this series.
If we're going to start, it might as well be with the beginning. Where did I get the idea?
There were two scenes and a backstory fact that did it. One scene was part of a dream and the other I actually wrote down as just an idea for something. They collided almost a soon as I finished writing it.
The first scene I had was of some kids riding down a dirt road on their bicycles. One girl (whose head I was in) stopped beside a cottage and another young girl stopped with her. That other girl explained that it was the home of a witch and no one went near her, etc. (This dream occurred long before I even wrote the books, so I don't remember much of the details; just the general gist of what happened.)
The second scene was this:
“And who are they?” I asked, looking down the hall at the colorful girls.
“Oh, those are the ‘Season Sisters’. They practically run the school,” my friend said with one of those mischievous smiles common in girls. I smiled back, but continued my examination of the lovely bunch. And here I thought I had left the cliques behind.
“Why’s that? What makes them so special?” I asked with the air of irritated new girl.
“Well, it’s said that their mother is a powerful witch; and she’s been training her daughters since their birth to be just like her. They’re different, that’s for sure,” Sarah explained.
She can’t be too powerful, I thought to myself. If she were, her daughters wouldn’t be allowed to act like this. Distaste washed over me as I studied the four girls at the end of the hall. Gorgeous, dangerous, sexy, strange, outgoing, cautious, flirty, and manipulative; each term went hand in hand with these girls. Each expression on their face and move of their bodies confirmed it. With a final look, I turned away. For comfort’s sake, I clutched my locket and breathed deeply.
I wrote that not long before I began writing Ivy. It was the locket that did it for me. It's what bound the two scenes together and created the entire story. A young girl apprenticed to a witch, that witch taken from her and leaving a locket in her place, and then the move to a place where new witches entered her life. As soon as I knew those things, I knew I had to start at the beginning. And that was the closest thing to an outline that the PMC ever got.
That doesn't mean I was entirely disorganized...
Now I would like to bring up the timeline.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, Writer Brain is weird. Reader Brain can also be as ... unrelenting. It can pick out certain errors that the writers and editors have overlooked despite going over a draft a million and one times. I have that kind of reader brain. It still bothers me that in one of my favorite series a character is described as wearing form-fitting jeans, but a few scenes later, she's pulling a dress over her head.
I'm fanatical like that, and I remember a lot of tiny details from things I read. (I also don't remember actually relevant things, so I mean...)
Because of that, when I began the rewrites for the PMC (the initial drafts had zero forethought), I wrote down every day that something occurred and the possible date it was on. And the one thing that gave the PMC its first concrete date was Samhain in Ivy.
“There will be a full moon on Halloween this year! How often does that happen?” I heard a girl say on the bus. I smiled to myself, wondering what Morgan would have planned on such a powerful day. It seemed as if my thoughts were catching.
Nathan gave me a look that suggested that he knew I was spending that Friday night with Morgan.
Friday. Full moon. Halloween.
Because my brain works the way it does, I then had to figure out roughly when all of these things came together. The answer to that was October 31, 1997. At this time, Lex was 9 years old, which led me to the conclusion that she was born in 1988.
Spoiler Alert: if you've finished Avens then you now know that the epilogue took place on August 13, 2016.
What this meant for the rest of the series is that I had a calendar open most of the time. I also had a lunar calendar on hand for when I needed to know other things. Plus all the sites related to Pagan esbats and sabbats, etc.
Research. I did a lot of research. The kind that means you know what you're saying is correct, but the reader will never notice.
Now, without further ado, I will give you the timeline of events from Ivy. March 23, 1988: Lex’s birthday
September 5, 1997: Ryders move into 03 Verity Lane, Cedar Creek
September 8, 1997: Lex meets Nathan; sees Alyssa Rice for the first time
September 9, 1997: Lex goes down Old Grove Road for the first time
September 11, 1997: Lex meets Morgan for the first time
September 12, 1997: Lex learns the story of Alyssa Rice
September 13, 1997: Lex begins training under Morgan
September 17, 1997: Lex and Nathan make their deal of silence
September 18, 1997: Lex’s first piano lesson; Mel meets Morgan
September 20, 1997: Lex enters the attic for the first time; spends the night at Morgan’s
September 26, 1997: Lex becomes an empath
October 31, 1997 (Friday): Lex has her Wiccaning and sets the circle
November 1, 1997: Lex’s powers grow considerably
November 8, 1997: Lex begins to unravel the Alyssa Rice mystery
November 9, 1997: Lex finds Alyssa’s body and sets her spirit free
November 10, 1997: Ivy ends with Lex telling Morgan
And now we can talk about the things that weren't planned: Everything else.
Alyssa Rice existed because I needed a plot. Then she did all of her Alyssa Rice things and it turned out great. Because I didn't plan any of that. I knew she was a person who mysteriously disappeared and that was it. Everything that Lex found out, I found out at the same time. Isn't writing fun? Knew nothing about Victoria, either. Also, that thing about Morgan's ancestry? Total curveball. Spoiler Alert: I didn't even realize that Nathan liked her until a reader pointed it out in the first draft.
Best of all, I almost forgot about the Mary Sullivan experience during Lex's Wiccaning until I was writing the very end and had to throw it in there as an additional unsolved mystery.
And I think that's going to wrap up Part 1. Thank you for sitting through the nonsense and I hope you enjoyed this look behind the scenes at the PMC and Ivy in particular. Stay tuned for part 2 ... that I don't know when I will post. If you have any questions, you can comment here or use the contact page to message me directly.