Like so many other newbie authors, I decided to write a book about something I enjoyed reading and a topic I was personally familiar with. But I didn't have the experience or knowledge how to write a novel. I wrote short stories and had several of them published, but it's not the same as writing a novel.
I bought several how-to books and started writing based on what I read. The original story stemmed from a personal experience when I actually read my mother's thoughts. Crazy, huh? But it's a true story.
Anyway, I thought it would be an interesting story about a character with telepathy. I could show a different perspective compared to superhero version. Show a darker side. A more realistic version, which depicted how someone like that would treated once people realize they could read their minds--laugh at them, fear them or in some cases, believe they're actually a demon or a monster.
However, the first draft bombed with my beta readers. My lead character wasn't likable. She seemed callous and uncaring. Scenes were too violent and graphic. The ending was depressing. Overall, the book left them with a bad feeling.
So I took some time and thought about how to make Lexi more likeable and the story less violent and depressing. But I realized after drafting various versions, the story theme just didn't lend itself to a happy story line.
I needed to over haul the entire story and the characters. I spent many hours dreaming up alternate versions on my walking machine. But I ended up keeping the core idea of my original theme about a teenage girl with telepathy. However, I added she was developing powers beyond her control and being hunted by a secret society hell bent on killing her, because she was a monster.
It wasn't until I started thinking about why Lexi was considered a monster and how that tied into her developing powers did I start noticing there was a correlation with Zeus. Hence the basis of the word Zeuorian (Zeus + origin). Lexi's name stemmed from Ancient Greece meaning defender. Even my description of Lexi developing powers, I compared it to Zeus. Perhaps the correlation was accidental due to the fact I had Lexi control lightning or because of my obsession with Greek Mythology naturally found its way into my story. Whichever the case, I came up with a compelling back story.
However, I wanted to write a different take on Greek Mythology. One that didn't rehash it like so many other books like Rick Riordan's popular Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus Series. After watching Ancient Aliens episode, "Aliens, Gods and Heroes", on the history channel, I thought that would be a good story twist. Greek Gods and Goddesses were actually aliens and their offspring's with humans, demigods, were half aliens.
I didn't realize then, but that decision turned my outlined book into a multi epic book series with several spin-off series. The world building and back stories I created for Lexi, her ancestors and the hunters were too good to keep hidden on my hard drive. Personally, I think some of the stories are actually more compelling than hers.
But you'll have to wait until I write them to determine if they are or aren't better than Lexi's series.