We each came up with five.
1. The illustrations! That was a great moment of alligned thinking for us. Right before we started posting, in fact maybe the very day before, one of us mentioned that it might be nice to have some sort of illustration, and we discovered that we’d BOTH been thinking that very thing! We originally wanted them to be scratchy penny-dreadful-esque sketches, but they very quickly got way more complicated, and they only get more beautiful with each chapter. Allison works very hard on them, putting up with a LOT of nitpicky suggestions and general direction from me, though I am getting better at sketching my ideas when I have them.
2. I am of the opinion that our conceptions of the Wild Hunt and the Underworld are PRETTY DAMN NEAT. You can’t go wrong with random shit about the Planck length (she said in complete seriousness)!! The Underworld is like this great leviathan, and I am a huge fan of locations that act like living entities. There’s going to be greater focus on locations and spatial relationships in future chapters, and it’s going to get really crazy and interesting. Seriously looking forward to it.
3. I also really like the details we’ve put into how former humans, or humans exposed to the Underworld, develop and change, and the reasoning behind what their capabilities are. Again, a lot of that is still to be discussed/revealed.
4. The way knowledge and memory work, and the symbolism and archetypes associated with that. This mostly concerns Rune right now (and Rune is the shiznit), but it’ll get broader, crazier, and increasingly challenging to write, which is a good thing.
1. The mythology. I love the fact that I can just roam around wikipedia, find things that are interesting, do a little more digging and pop them into the story. And along those lines, it’s been AMAZING how sometimes we’ll agree on some mythological idea or whatever to incorporate, and then later, COMPLETELY BY CHANCE we’ll discover some deep-buried connection to something that’s already part of the story. In that way it’s sort of grown up organically into this leviathan, as Emily said, and I feel like sometimes we’re just the ones presenting this great mysterious creature’s story, when it already exists out there, somewhere. It was just waiting for us to discover it.
2. The time period. There’s this whole culture of mystique surrounding Berlin in the 20s, and in some ways that mystique was there at the time, and contemporaries made mention of it, and it’s been absolutely the most fun digging into this world and seeing just how this place and time was sort of a crossroads between this manic race towards modernity and a sort of nostalgia for better times in the midst of all this upheaval. It creates a really unsettled, questioning atmosphere and that makes sure our characters have uneven footing in the world. It really tests their mettle (and ours) to see how they react under all that stress. …That sounds kind of sadistic, okay, but really, I love making our characters deal with these issues and not really know where they stand. It’s great.
3. There is just something so satisfying about a good old-fashioned criminal procedural and in the early chapters I really enjoy the mystery about these deaths and trying to puzzle out who or what could be responsible for them. It’s a good place to start from, when we launch into the fantastical bizarre stuff.
4. Herr Inspektor’s combination of horrible crippling anxiety and ridiculous sexual tension. It is absolutely delicious, and I enjoy making him suffer a little but, but hopefully his romantic trials make it all the more satisfying whenever he finally does make up his mind about anything. Look at your life, Herr Inspektor. Look at your choices.
5. Seriously, Alma.