After developing the rivalry between Elias and William, I started to wonder where the story could go. I had originally planned for William to be disposed of at the end of the second "season" and with that basic skeleton laid out, I started to brainstorm ideas for the next "season" of stories.
At the time I was working on this, I was working as a marketing representative where I would have to visit stores to do tasks for various clients. One day, I was at a local grocery chain and found myself constantly getting irritated by this kid. For some reason, I thought that the story could use a character like that: basically, a foolish little twerp who would be a foil to Kenton. And that was the genesis of the character that would end up becoming Cameron.
As I started thinking about this idea for the third "season" of stories, I realized that this new character would be a "fifth wheel" of sorts and throw off the nice, even-numbered friend group. It was around this time that I started to think of a backstory for Elias, and that was where everything just "clicked" together.
With it being the spring of 2014, the hit television show "Breaking Bad" had just finished, and was still fresh on my mind. Primarily, I followed the "behind-the-scenes" materials for the series, and I admired how showrunner Vince Gilligan took a basic concept (terminally ill teacher has to do questionable things to provide for his family) and turned it into a (at the time) 63 episode epic. As a way of paying homage to the production team that inspired me, I decided to make Elias' family similar to the White family in that you had the patriarch doing questionable things and the rest of the family trying to live around it.
When I decided that Elias was about to get the boot, I had a choice to make: how was I going to do this? It is no secret that I love my characters dearly, and I had to find a way to give Elias his "ending" in a way that was tasteful, yet believable. In the original edit of the story, the plan was to keep it as it appeared in the first part: a freak accident involving an electrical shock causing trauma to the head. After I had published the first part, and was working on the second part, I realized that this was not the most believable way to do this, so I added the "epilogue" in the second part to clarify Elias' fate.
At this point in development, Cameron and William were not related. William's little brother was just a random kid that was only there for the confrontation scene between Elias and William, and had no bearing on the overall story. While the idea to make Cameron be William's younger brother came to me quickly, I originally resisted because it felt too convenient. I eventually relented and incorporated the idea on the condition that the two brothers would be split and living with different parents.
Once I had everything settled with how Elias would be leaving and Cameron would be introduced, I decided that I was ready to pull the train into the station. By this point, the concept of "seasons" was out, and I was ready to make the whole (at the time) thirty-chapter adventure end go out with a bang. With both villains (Andrea and William) out there, it was time to bring everything together and close it all out. With the final chapter (at the time titled "Futures" but is now titled "Fights and Futures") completed, I was both relieved and sad because Kenton, Olivia, Mia, and Cameron had grown on me and I felt like a teacher saying goodbye to their class on the last day. I originally wanted to leave things on a high note, but at the same time, I wanted a little more...In Part 3, I talk about the development of Quiet Enlightenment Parts 2 and 3.