Warning: This contains slight spoilers for the first seven chapters of the story.
Quiet Enlightenment started off a small series of non-interconnected stories on my old website, Euayfcialty. The basic premise was simple: take a writing prompt and just write. It did not have to be perfect, it did not have to make sense. Just sit down and WRITE.
At the time, I had finished my first story (Mystery Town Llekville) and felt extremely dissatisfied with how it turned out. Feeling really discouraged, I took a break from writing original content and turned my focus towards writing fan fiction. After writing two pieces that exploded in popularity, I decided that I wanted to give this another whirl. However, after that dissatisfaction with MTL, I was extremely hesitant to jump right back into creating a whole interconnected world right away.
When I had decided to embark on these writing exercises, I did not know what was going to come of them and where it would take me. The very first writing prompt I tried was "If you were going to open a restaurant, how would you do it and what would it be like?" It was from that prompt that I wrote a tiny story about two adult friends contemplating opening a restaurant together. With it being a single exercise, I never put a lot of thought into the characters. Somehow, the two friends ended up being named Charmaine and Andrea, with the former having a son named Kenton who liked to play basketball.
The second prompt was something along the lines of "Imagine you're telling someone about a faraway place" and I ended up spinning that into something involving one little kid telling another little kid about going on vacation somewhere. Those two characters ended up becoming Olivia and Mia, and I believe I mentioned a character who eventually ended up becoming Elias during that exercise. While I was still committed to keeping the stories separated, I ended up making a slight connection to the previous story.
While I cannot remember what the prompt for the third story was, it somehow convinced me to revisit the restaurant plan with Charmaine and Andrea. I feel that this was around the time when I threw my hands up and accepted that I was not going to be able to make small, disconnected stories. As such, I went into the fourth prompt (writing about a character giving a valentine) using Kenton as the protagonist. At that time, I did not have a specific recipient for the valentine in mind.
It was around this time that I decided that I wanted to start planning out the "story arc" more with these stories if they were going to interconnect. The original plan was for there to be "seasons" of stories with each "season" containing around ten chapters. It was also at this part where I decided to age-up Olivia and Mia and make Olivia the recipient of the valentine to create "parallel" drama with Kenton and Charmaine having their own story threads. As of this point, the character that ended up becoming Elias did not exist save for that small mention in the second story.
As I planned out the season, the idea of Andrea becoming the antagonist came to mind, and the remaining stories revolved around establishing her true motives and how she was going to execute her plans. It was around this time that I started thinking about the second season and where the story was going to go. Andrea's story was to be wrapped up in the final chapter of the first season, so I needed a new "drama" point that could go in parallel to Kenton's story (which would be left off as a cliffhanger and resolved in the second season's first chapter). I was on the city bus coming home from college classes, and I somehow got the idea of a "nerd battle" between two characters. I already had a "nerdy" character planted in the second chapter of the first season, so that character was aged up to match Kenton and eventually became Elias. The other character, the "rival" of sorts, ended up becoming William. As I still needed to fill some space in the first season, I quickly whipped up a story about the drama club to give a proper introduction to the two characters and their relationship to each other.In article 2, I will talk about the rest of the first part of the story, so there WILL be spoilers. Proceed to article 2 ->