Hi, it's me, Pumpkin and this is the space where I basically talk about my process for a bit.
Paths the story might have taken if I didn't decide otherwise, inspirations that sort of thing. If you are not interested in that stuff then feel free to just ignore this. But if you're a writer yourself or just curious then with this I would like to give you a peek into my mind.
The idea for what the leave behind happened years ago. I was biking home with my boyfriend and I was explaining the dolls to him. I mentioned they have a heart inside their body that keeps them going but no one can open the latch beside themselves.
Now I think he asked what happened if you take the heart out though I'm not entirely sure. Al I know is that somewhere along the road I thought;
"Oh boy, how cool would it be if a doll gave their heart away willingly knowing full well it would kill them?"

In the original idea, things went roughly according to the story I ended up writing but the context in which the heart was given away was very different.
After leaving university Inquiry would start learning alchemy by himself but to fund it he had found a shady investor who was willing to pump him full of cash as long as he had something interesting to show him by the end of it.
The boy was a lot more spoiled and naive in that scenario, very happy-go-lucky and caution to the wind. He actually hired Stegarius for money and I believe Stegarius didn't know where the money came from (or that was one of the reasons that idea didn't pan out since Stegarius wasn't at all a fan of the investor). In the endgame the deadline got to a close and Stegarius basically sacrificed himself to save Inquiry's ass from the investor but the idea pretty quickly fell apart due to Stegarius having money and a support network, so it made much more sense for him to pay the money back asking a favour from the other dolls than straight-up die.
There was also the idea of Stegarius sacrificing himself just to make Inquiry happy but that was even more messed up ^^;

Now I'm not opposed to messed up ;) but with that idea, I just became pissed at Inquiry for being a giant asshole and also getting away with it in the end so I scrapped that whole deal and created a third party in the shape of Mercury who would have to mess shit up so royally that death was the only way to save the day.
So yeah, the story was always supposed to end with Stegarius dying, but the path to said end changed drastically over time.

The idea chilled in my "to-write" folder for a long while (my to-write folder being uuuuh...BIG) but then I needed something short and sweet *chuckles awkwardly in hindsight* to distract me while one of my largest projects (The Royal Griffin *salutes* forever in R&D) was getting me very stuck.  I expected to spend about 20.000 words on it but as I started writing I quickly figured out that wasn't gonna fly. I wrote my scrap draft in about two to three weeks, then started editing bring you up as I was releasing it.
I'd grab the chapter for next week and rework it, adding scenes, improving pacing and all that, then upload on Monday and move on to the next one.
This got me in trouble sometimes as I often procrastinated the work to Sunday, find I still had a bunch to do and then spent the whole day doing nothing but write ^^;
As for Take me down, I decided to do the big rewrites before releasing the first chapter (explaining the big wait in between instalments) and that went a whole lot smoother =D
As for the dolls I loved working them out! While the overall plot didn't change much (safe for the ending) the dolls are a completely different story.
I had very little on them at first and one of the historical beats I did have, I ended up scrapping.

This was the idea of a doll/human war that was fought in three days, the dolls being nearly indestructible but the humans dropping like flies until they were like "Okay fine you can exist and have rights". But the moment I told my boyfriend about it he poked a thousand holes in it (being a much more strategical thinker than I am). 
Also, dolls killing people en-masse didn't really sit well with me either ^^;.
So I ended up with "ridiculously strong but careful to be as non-threatening as possible."

Their whole culture I made on the fly as I was writing. I figured they don't eat or drink so then I guess they could listen to music when they go to a bar. I needed Stegarius and Inquiry to spend time together outside of classes so I decided they were both major fairy tail buffs (and then wrote the jax and the wizard because I needed something for them to argue about). 
The only thing that stayed consistent since their inception is their view on gender. I reasoned that since they don't have a reproductive system the whole sex debate is kind of moot so dolls they start like blank slates and build up their gender from there using whatever they prefer to use. And since they live for such a very long time it makes sense for them to change and evolve over time into different genders and names. To them changing your gender/name is about as common as changing your style, while some keep theirs the same for decennia other like to switch things up on a regular basis.
This is something I support in real life as well, I think the world would be a much better place if people spent less time on who someone used to be and more on who they are right now <3

The scarecrows being obsessed with astrology is also a new piece of worldbuilding I added. I made it up because I wanted to give Stegarius and the scarecrows something to talk about and liked the idea of a culture clash with Stegarius not knowing his birthday and the scarecrows wanting to know his star sign.
This meant I needed to build an entire star system which I'll probably try and jam into some other tale since I barely used it D=.

 Maybe it'll come up when I rewrite Charity Grace since a scarecrow features heavily in that one. Though I must admit I have no idea when I'll be writing that =.=
First I got Mirror of me to do, and then probably an epilogue to What we leave behind.
I never meant to make an epilogue, I was quite pleased with the ending (as I'm mean and a nice knife twist ending is fun).
But there is so much left to explore that I feel like the ending is here is just missed opportunities.
I also feel a need to give Inquiry perhaps a bit of a better ending than he currently got sooooo....
Stay tuned ^^

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