I had no idea where this was going to take me last September when I began to write. At that point, the story didn't have name. Its working title was 'The Chronicles of Wolf and Sparrow' and I thought it would be complete in 75,000 words. When I look at my first handwritten pages, the initial outline and character sketches, I can certainly see the germ of the ideas that eventially became 'The Wings of Winter'. But the characters have taken me in different places and to more complex situations that I had anticipated. They do have a life and priorities of their own and I had to balance my sense of the overall story with their wishes.
As I told my writing group a few weeks ago--make sure that when you talk about hearing voices, you are talking to fellow writers.
Owen, Sparrow, Llewelyn, Callahan, Dale, Julian, Sylvie. They are real. They have dreams, fears, plans, histories. Much of who they are never make it into the story per se, but I hope they show their full lives to the reader. I know that the (almost)year I have spent with them has been an amazing experience.