This is a post about the writing process. It contains spoilers for Cold Magic and Cold Fire. In it, I discuss choices I made and ways in which I changed my mind throughout the drafting process. If you don’t want spoilers (and you’ve not read the books) or if you prefer to interact with only the final product and not see into a writer’s head as she discusses the process or if you’re not interested in reading about the writing process, READ NO FARTHER.
If you’ve read the books (or don’t care about spoilers), and if you find process interesting, read on. iow, this is a post for those who like the commentary on DVDs. Me, I never listen to that commentary. I like to see the final product in its pristine state. However, I’m happy to offer the commentary for those who are interested.
In the original conception of Cold Magic, a mage comes to the house with a legal claim to marry the girl. This story has always had the “forced marriage” trope as part of the plot. A “forced marriage” is any story in which two people have to get married because of outside forces. One might have to marry to secure an inheritance while the partner needs to marry because because she or he is destitute. An accidental encounter might impel them to marry because of societal strictures or for convenience’s sake. A fraud marriage might turn into a real marriage. Or they might both be required to accept a marriage arranged by others for reasons of political or economic or family alliance. And so on.
Cat was always going to have to marry a strange man who walked into her house with an unshakeable claim to her.
And the man was always of higher social status than Cat and her household.