After developing the cultures and groups involved in the opening scene, I started to write with no real research. At the time, I had very little to do, residing in a kind of limbo between 6th form and university. It was a summer I spent largely in a state of nervous suspense, from the end of my school term at the start of July until the middle of August when I got my results, to see whether or not I had made it into university. While unemployed, I ended up writing merely as a source of entertainment.
The opening scene gradually began to develop. I wanted to write a fight between individuals, where one was physically much bigger and stronger, outmatching an already-powerful opponent. The inspiration for this was arguably drawn from the Halo franchise of games, with its 8-foot tall ‘Elites’ being soundly beaten by the lethal ‘Spartans’. Although a science-fiction game, it was the basic idea which interested me. This led to the creation of the first incarnation of the Ethernath Wraiths, at the time given the working name of ‘Forerunners’, and my first protagonist, then named Ingvarr.
Perhaps merely to challenge myself, I also wanted to write a scene simultaneously from two different points of view. This led to the expansion of my story-line, with the establishment of another major character, Althalos.
When I started to write, I quickly discovered that writing two points of view on the same scene was a painstaking and difficult task, and resolved never to do it again! Although I started writing in August, I was unused to writing longer pieces, so it was a fairly slow start, and it ground to a halt when I moved to university up in Nottingham.
At this point I felt the need to concentrate on my studies, and the ‘university experience’, meaning that most of what I wrote was historical non-fiction, in keeping with my degree course.