Thank you so much, friend! I am unbelievably honored to hear that. Writing this series and interacting with everyone who read it has been a life-changing thing for me, and I am just really happy that these stories meant something to other people.
That is also a really good question! I have been planning the entire arc for a very long time, especially the backstory for Masaomi and Youji, so it’s a little muddled on when I came up with what idea. I will say–for sure– there were a lot of things I started setting up but hadn’t fully thought through by the time I started writing.
For example! In “Filthy Halls” I started setting up the idea that the Legacy was after an immune human, because I thought that would bring a really good narrative tension to the arc. But I had no idea why Kenji was after an immune human, or why that would matter in the long run. I think I was reaching the end of writing “Your Heart Ain’t Cold” by the time I finally figured it out.
As a random bit of trivia, while this series is wildly different than the inspiration (Dark Angel), there were some things I created to parallel the show. So the Legacy was created to parallel the events in the second season of Dark Angel when the weird breeding cult was introduced. BUT Dark Angel never had a third season, so I had no idea how the show was going to resolve the breeding cult vs. mutant issue, and therefore had a lot of trouble trying to figure out how I wanted to conclude this for my own story.
I don’t think I had the full details of Masaomi’s End Game figured out by the time I officially started writing “This is Love”, (it’s very possible I didn’t, I remember trying to figure out how I was going to resolve this issue for a good long while) but I know that I had it figured out by the time I started writing Chapter Four. Specifically, the scenes where Masaomi is bullying Hinami. I really wanted to set up the idea that Masaomi was capable of evil, and that he did things that were distinctly morally questionable so that when the End Game came along, it wouldn’t be like, a huge surprise or without any precedent in the story leading up to that.
Thank you again for your question, and your kind message, and for reading these stories.