Shorter filler today, but hopefully still interesting! If people like this, I hope to do one for every chapter. Basically, I’m going to post a short list of things that I considered putting into the story, or that were actually written into a previous draft, but which didn’t make the final cut. None of these things are actually part of the story, or will ever end up in the story, but I thought it might be interesting to share what decisions could have been made, or the stages that the draft went through to get to where it ended up.
The first season has remained pretty much the same as it was in the first drafts of the story, so this list will be quite short. I expanded on it rather than cutting things out, so most of what was originally in there stayed in. But here we go:
- Originally, the lighthouse keeper was a much smaller character – in only about two scenes. He never helped Wilom with his decisions, and he was never a second mentor figure the way he turned out to be.
- In original drafts, we never got to meet Wilom’s friends – he never ran away and we never got to see his home town.
- One of the things I had a lot of trouble reconciling was the time skip. At first, I completely overlooked it – everyone spoke the same. This was especially true back when the time skip was supposed to be much shorter – only thirty years or so, rather than the eighty it ended up being. Once I realised that Wilom really should talk like everybody’s grandfather, I tried a few drafts where he spoke a little more archaically, but I found that I was having trouble reconciling ‘angry teenager’ with ‘speaks like Gandalf’, so I ended up with the style that I have now. I made Vanda a little more colloquial so that her comments about him ‘talking like her grandfather’ still make sense, and Wilom has a few phrases and sayings that other people consider out of fashion, but the difference did end up much more subtle.
- We also never saw any of what the lighthouse keeper does on the River; Shades were mentioned and discussed, and they showed up in the scene where Wilom and Vanda run away, but they were never taken into any more detail and the lighthouse keeper’s job was only to find lost people, never to interact with shades.
- Finally and most drastically, this was originally conceived as a standalone novel, rather than a series, so this entire section was essentially a twenty- or thirty-page prologue to the main story. Part of the reason I chose this story to be serialised was because it gave me the opportunity to expand this section and give it the attention it deserved (and needed), rather than having it short and rushed.
So there it is – the way things might have been.