All about Salandrine: The original concept idea

Picture of the dragon god from Elisa Winther's book Salandrine on top of a mountain.

The idea that started this journey into Mnaluria

A story about an ancient god and an eccentric and Autistic folklorist restoring a forgotten religion. To be honest, whenever I think of this version, the original concept of Salandrine, I feel a little excited about writing that version too, someday.


Last February I started writing Salandrine. At the moment the story still had the working title “Dragon Blessed” and I had the foolish ambition to keep it under 7500 words. Obviously, I had to change that wordcount to a higher number to accommodate everything I wanted to put into this story. It wasn’t the only thing that changed however. Over time I adjusted the plot, strengthened it with more and better conflict, swapped some characters, and expanded on the worldbuilding.

But that doesn’t speak of the changes I made before I even started writing the first draft. Initially, Salandrine started out with the idea of the resurrection of an ancient and forgotten god. Their religion had died. Their people had forgotten their name. Except for this young eccentric folklorist, an Autistic girl with this god and deity as their special interest. Together they’d work to restore their faith.

I linked this idea to the one I had where people feared the desert on the other side of their mountain for the dragon that rumored to live there. The dragon turned into this forgotten god. Soon I had a whole country to develop, complete with its geography, history, cultures, native flora and fauna, religion, anything I thought important to a setting. It’s both what makes high fantasy a challenge as well as a delight to write: the extensive worldbuilding it allows. I absolutely love it!

As you can see, the core parts of the original concept remains. It still stars an Autistic main character with a passion for folklore and a god, not forgotten, but as you will come to know… a change is happening, and it’s making life for the god none the better.


Visit the book page or read the first chapter to Salandrine here.

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