You begin the novel by describing wedding plans gone awry. You also create a character Tellurith who is in the act of healing. Very good places to start in writing a feminist story, I think, because of where it leads the reader and of course the characters.
There's one of the things the right brain, aka the Black Gang — I stole the term from a Lois Bujold text — the powerful, concealed, multiple core of the whole process, takes care of. Continuity, overall thematic significance, even imagery, I don't consciously think about, often, till after the end of the draft. I once kick-started a novel by doodling fragments of poetry that stuck in my head. After I finished, I went back through the notebook and for a whim, listed all those images; then I checked the text, and there they were, every one, though I'd never consciously put them there. When the first draft starts, the Black Gang choose the opening counters, and they see that it coheres from then on. The wedding and the rescue were, so to speak "default choices." Second paragraph, after getting moonlight, Amberlight, qherrique. What happens then, and to whom? And why? Name's Tellurith, she's been to a wedding. Keep writing. The stream was running. I kept writing, like they said.
The Black Gang? I've never heard that phrase. Robert Louis Stevenson called his subconsciousness the Brownies. Now, I'm assuming you love your main character and the characters the Black Gang brings you. All authors do. Tell me why.
I do "love" some of my leads, but more often they cause feelings ranging from exasperation to disbelief. Unlike some authors, I don't plan my characters consciously, or even outline my plots. Once we start, what happens, happens, and it happens largely at the behest of the Black Gang that so often brings up an unexpected donnee better than any outline conceived. But as a result, I spend a lot of time running after my lead characters going, "I can't believe you did that!" Or, more often, "You can't be going to do that!"
I totally comprehend that. Isn't it amazing how something unplanned can work itself out so perfectly? And, as Edward Albee said, "We get to take credit for that." Sorry to interrupt. I just had to say that. You were speaking about your main character.
Tellurith, my main character, however, is a special case. She's a very powerful, very clever, very strong-willed woman, raised in a cutthroat society she lives to her backbone, and if I met her in real life I think she'd scare me to death. In the sequel, Riversend, she herself calls someone "tricky as a bagful of Heartland monkeys and as callous as a tyrant in Cataract." That's also a good description of Tellurith. It took me three books to "civilize" her to some extent. So I don't love her in the sense I think this question means, but I understand her, have affection for her, and respect her.