We started with a blank deck with our titles written upon the cards, to determine its efficiency, then elements were added, taken away or reordered accordingly, as we tested it. So what was originally planned as a forty to fifty card deck soon became sixty, and placed at the centre is Chapter 30 – Balance. At the time, none of the cards had been numbered, so its placement was quite unintentional but an enjoyable moment of synchronicity once discovered!
We had fallen in love with this image as soon as we saw Claudia’s artwork, so we were determined that it should be part of the deck. In its early days it served as The Adventure but, as the deck grew and various aspects changed, it was replaced. We didn’t think we could use it and then, almost at the end of the deck’s creation, inspiration hit. Although we had the card meaning we then had to decide where in the storyline this card arrived and, eventually, there was only one place where it naturally fit as we lay out the storyboard sequence on the living room floor. Humble beginnings.
One question that people keep asking us is: who wrote what? Did one of us write the fiction passages and the other the card meanings? Another aspect of balance was that, although we had decided from the beginning everything would be written in partnership, we needed to ensure it would read as though it was one voice. So, we both wrote, edited and cross-edited, resulting in a culmination of efforts, woven back and forth until it seamlessly blended as if from one pen. Of course, it would have been so much easier if we had split it, but just to create more work for ourselves, we didn’t. It produced some tense moments too but we’re happy to report we’re still speaking!
Although an important aspect, the storyline for the fictional side of the deck was a secondary element. The fiction passages are all linked, you can follow a story through to conclusion - hence their chaptered names. We could change the image or the story, but the meanings of the cards were set. When we added a new card we had to decide where in the fictional story it would appear to balance it out, as the fiction is the interwoven thread that holds the deck together.
The fictional side of The Chronicles of Destiny created some challenges as we found it difficult to restrict ourselves to short passages, when we really wanted to sink our teeth into the narrative we had to hold ourselves back! Because the writing styles for the narrative and the definitions were so different we wrote each section separately, all the fiction together and then all the non-fiction, to prevent it (and us) from feeling disjointed.
The essence of the card was something we personally experienced all the way through development and creation, but its relevance became more interesting when we added the last and final card, with a touch of magic from Alchemy.