Sketch by Chris Moujaes
While writing Flux Destiny: Fortuna's Rings, I made heavy use of my sketchbooks. A lot of the time, it would be to make quick, crude sketches to get an idea out of my head, or visualize a concept. I wouldn't worry too much about the quality of the art, it isn't really intended for the public, but more so for planning. (I should note that making these behind-the-scenes posts makes me more self-conscious about my quick doodles).
This little sketch doesn't do justice to how violently Hugo's ring reacts when it's activated in the story... you can see that in other finalized art I've produced. For me, this is just short hand... these little sketches serve as reminders and my brain fills in the rest.
During the long course of developing the premise for this story, I had received many messages asking about the function of Hugo's ring. To be honest, I had initially thought that the rings found throughout the universe in clothes, etc. were just ornamental... just a cool little design thing I came up with.
But the more I thought about it, I realized that there was potential to do something special with them that could integrate really well with the overall arc of the series. Enter Fortuna's Rings which was initially titled Fortuna's Ring (singular) before deciding to explore the idea of many special copies of Vanessa Witherspoon's ring. When that idea hit, it provided a huge push to the story's development, and I was able to finalize the outline and get to writing.
You never know where inspiration will come from. I had to learn to not become so invested in my first drafts, despite how much work I had put into them. Naturally, we don't want to feel like we've "wasted" time by starting over if something isn't working right. I learned to deal with this by the realization that what I was doing was true development. None of it is ever a waste... it's an iterative process.
As I continued to develop and write, the more character I attributed to Hugo's ring (which can be found on any Academy student's uniform). I wondered, "how heavy is it?" and "what's it made of?" and "how valuable is it?" and "is it easily removable?" These types of questions provided fertile ground to develop the story further. How, why, when, and where questions are great tools to help develop ideas and break creative blocks.
Thinking about the ring as a character, I even thought that it would make a beautiful "clink" sound when Hugo's walking or moving as it slaps against his chest... though, between you and I... if all underclassmen wear this, the collective sound of all the clinking could get annoying... but we'll casually ignore that for now. ;)