Warning: Contains a lot of SPOILERS if you’re not caught up.
Well, it’s a day before my birthday when I finally found the time to prepare something I’d want to share on that day. So when you’re reading this, it’s my birthday already, happy birthday to me! This post will probably not be that long, because I’m really, really tired and frankly don’t have time to do something splendid. This will be about my storytelling and the sources of my inspiration.
First off, Kymber. She was my inspiration to start a diary format and I also use it the same way she does with heirs passing on the diaries to the next heirs. I really love that concept of hers. I’m also thankful, because she was one of the people who encouraged me to try to write a story in English.
Then Marina… Yes, I know I always talk about her, but seriously, her songs and their lyrics have had a big impact on both me and my storytelling.
But let’s start from the very beginning…
Maddie’s character was initially supposed to really be a heartbreaker, that was my idea for an original founder or whatever (I didn’t believe at the time that my computer would last long enough for me to even finish the first generation), and I got that from the story of a blonde diva called Electra Heart from Marina’s second album. That never worked out, though, because I realized that I would have to create way too many men for this to work. I then created Ethan and again, he was supposed to have a happy ever after with Maddie, but my wicked mind had other plans and I created the messy crime and suicide storyline.
Going chronologically, I came up with the idea of Maddie having a miscarriage because of a close person in my life that told me she had it.
Maddie then imagined this little being to be the daughter Annie she never had. The person from real life says she still thinks of what age the baby would be today.
Some of you already know it, but Dellie is partly based off me and my complete lack of talent for anything that’s not languages and humanistic subjects (Dellie is hard-working, though, so he had good grades in everything, unlike me). And also, my love and interest in English which Dellie became a teacher of at school. But that’s not as far as our similarity goes, because we both have an older brother who rocks at Math.
At the time I was writing it, I thought my brother would become a doctor. Reality had other plans, but the mystery of how Eddie became one without studies will forever stay unsolved. Well, but you see, I’m not even half as kind as Dellie and my brother has never been a heartbreaker, quite the opposite.
Grace… Well, there’s a lot to say about her. Her character took me a lot of thinking and I wanted to present her in an interesting way with her mental illness and unique style of being. My first thought was for her to leave Dellie and for him to be a single father, but when Leo became one in Kymber’s story, mine took a different turn.
I used that idea in the alternative universes, if you remember. I was inspired to make Grace bipolar because of my grandmother who has bipolar disorder. But trust me if I say they don’t have much in common – Grace is much, much more tolerable than her. Someone who never knew that disorder up close will never know… And of course I was inspried by ‘Gone With the Wind’ and included it in my story as Grace’s favorite book.
They even compared one another to Ashley and Scarlett. How ironic – neither of these ships lasted for long. Of course Dellie’s story still has a lot of Marina references, such as the title I’m Happy refering to Marina’s song called ‘Happy’ and of course the motto for Grace and Dellie’s relationship is in Marina’s song ‘Homewrecker’. It goes as follows:
But deep down all you want is love
The pure kind we all dream of
But we cannot escape the past
So you and I will never last
Doesn’t it sound all too familiar? And of course, the chapter in which Dellie and Grace get engaged and then marry is called ‘The Pure Kind We All Dream Of’. It was foreshadowing on my part, and deliberate at that.
There’s also a lot of family meetings in Dellie’s gen… Maybe I did it partly because my family is so small and I don’t have any cousins…
In Gemma’s generation, I was mostly inspired by what game rolled at me, including Gemma’s unflirty trait (her being asexual) and all the crazy tomato stuff I planned so carefully. It’s worth mentioning that when I wrote the chapter about rape, I was reading a book with a lot of mentions about rape, which I didn’t even know would have it when I planned this. I also read about a bisexual during Sam’s generation, even though I came up with the idea of him being bisexual before I grabbed the book. Pure coincidences. One of Gemma’s chapter is titled “Out of the Pink, into the Gray”, I based it off Lana Del Rey’s lyrics “Out of the black, into the blue”, but I changed the colors to match pink Gemma and gray Dellie whom Gemma visited in that chapter.
Oh, and the Bobby character is a lot like the friend I once had, so fun and a little bit crazy (though I don’t think she’s lesbian).
As for the first homosexual couple which happened in this generation, I decided to include one after reading Carys’ story. Wo ai ni which is the title of one of the chapters (I love you in Chinese) I got from one of the books I read in which the character was partly Chinese. I thought it’d be cool to use it.
Sam’s gen, oh boy… Where to start? The seven sins theme is of course taken straight from Catholicism and I had fun (although struggled a bit) coming up with the plots to match the sins. You see, I memorized them all when I was eight or something and I still remember them. Also, during his gen I found the channel on YouTube with a guy whose personality reminded me a lot of him. He had a video in which he says something about his future girlfriend’s makeup having to be immaculate.
In the chapter in which Hailey meets Sam, he says that her makeup was as immaculate as Heather’s.
Hailey definitely has a Lana Del Rey vibe to her. Her being a singer, interested in older men and creating a stage persona all leads to her. My initial idea was even to title her chapters after Lana’s songs, but I resigned. Still, the song that most refers to young Hailey in my head is called ‘Because Of You’. The atmosphere of it is just youth and recklessness.
I was a young girl, selfish and wild
Like a fire in L.A.
Hot like the summer and mean like a child
Who keeps crying till she gets her way
One of Hailey’s chapter is titled ‘Third Wheel Blues’ and she has a corresponding song on her album that she later publishes. That’s a reference to Lana Del Rey’s very old song called Pawn Shop Blues. But Lana Del Rey’s references in Hailey’s generation could be a topic for another bonus…
We don’t know much about Ron yet, but him being a synesthetic is obviously a tribute to Marina. Watch the interview in which she talks about it here.
Well, this is just very brief, because I could go on and on about this. Next, I wanted to talk about YouTube and how it influenced the looks of my quite recent characters.
I was inspired to make Candy’s skin brown after seeing IISuperwomanII on YouTube. They look practically nothing alike except for the skin and the hair.
Her daughter Sharicka is most likely me going for a girl who looks more like Shaaba, a really sympathetic vlogger I started watching quite recently. And yeah, Shari and her share some traits.
And Waylon… Gosh, he looks a lot like one of the guys whose science channel (the main and the secondary) I watch on YouTube, Greg. I don’t think I did it on purpose (after all, he wears glasses only because he randomly rolled them and I went with it), but yeah, the similarity is definitely there. Oh, and Waylon had a beard when I first created him, but then I think I uninstalled and forgot about it altogether, so I never put it back on him.
By the way, Frank became a lawyer, because Dellie was meant to be a lawyer, but I changed my plans. So Frank got the job. As for his name… I’ve only just recently realized that I once read a book in which there was a gay guy called Frank. I’m not sure if it influenced me at all, but the name really suited him in my mind.
Well, there’s probably a lot more I could say on this long topic, but I just wanted to finish this to present you with special stuff on my birthday, as always. So hope you enjoyed my little chance to ramble for free and see you tomorrow, that is if I manage to finally shoot the damn pictures!