Inside the Black Folders: Winter

Posted on: 28th Mar 2014  /   Categorized: Winter

This is going to be a short post compared to those on Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, because so many of the items included in Winter’s black folder contain spoilers! and I don’t trust you guys not to zoom in on them, haha.


But here are a few of the things that I’ve deemed safe to share…


Inside Winter’s Black Folder

Winter child 

In the first draft of Winter there were a handful of flashback scenes showing Winter as a child, and I was super excited when I came across this photo in a magazine one day. This little girl looks just how I envisioned the young princess.



Winter farming

This article, found in Sunset magazine, theorized some technologies we might be using for our food-growing in the distant (and not-so-distant) future. It was one of the first inspirations I had for how food production – and society in general – might work on Luna.


Winter final outline

When I tried to outline my initial ideas for Winter (back before I’d even started writing Cinder!), all the ideas I had came to a grand total of three hand-written pages. Well, when I tried again a couple years later—after Cinder and Scarlet were completed—this was what that three-page outline turned into. Sixty typed pages! And that’s the outline! *gulp* This is by far the most extensive and detailed outline I’ve ever written, which I made using the method in First Draft in Thirty Days by Karen Wiesner. I didn’t really enjoy the method and probably won’t use it again, but it certainly gave me something to work with!





I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into some of the first inspirations for the Lunar Chronicles. Word of advice for writers: Never throw anything away… you just never know when you’ll want to write a blog post about it!



  1. Solaire commented on:

    Winter looks so cute, I can’t wait to read more about her! 🙂
    And I agree with the “never throw anything away” rule. Even if you can’t use it for a blog post, who knows, it might come in handy for your next story?

  2. Monique commented on:

    “I don’t trust you guys not to zoom in on them” haha! You know us so well! That little girl looks so cute! 🙂

  3. Bailey commented on:

    I imagine Winter looking like Lupita on Oscar night in a white or red dress. She is the definition of beauty and matured innocent. She isn’t naive. AND she is a hell of an actress.

  4. Emily commented on:

    You are so mean Marissa! I just finished Cress and I freaked out my mom by screaming! But good news: you inspired me! I’m going to build a robot!

  5. Your Name commented on:

    I read Cress and Winter is my favorite character yet. You that instant connection you get with a character? Well, I’ve just experienced it. Don’t know how I’ll manage to wait for Winter to come out!

  6. Cara commented on:

    When will “winter” come out? I am so excited I have just finished all three books and you I want to read more! Love your works, please tell us an estimated date on when the book will come out. Thanks!

  7. Izzie commented on:

    WOW this is such a great series! I’m a little suspicious about Princess Winter, but she seems SO adorably cute and impossibly mature. This series takes your breath away faster than a punch to the stomach delivered by none other than Wolf himself and has climaxes that feel like roller coasters– that undeniable butterfly feeling that makes you just want to… fly away.

  8. Bonnie @ A Backwards Story commented on:

    A sixty page outline…amazing! I could never do it. I find when I super outline, I suddenly have no urge to write the story anymore because I’m no longer discovering answers. The thrill is gone! Then again, I also was never able to write essay outlines. When classes required them, I always did the outline AFTER I’d written the paper. -.-;;;

    I love your black folders of AWESOME, though. Can’t wait for Winter!!

  9. commented on:

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thanks for providing
    these details.

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  10. Adele commented on:

    When is the exact date for Winter? I know it’s in 2015 but… PLEASE~ SPOLERS! 🙂

  11. ashley commented on:

    Im hooked. Cant wait for winter. A year is soo soo long. Id love for these to become movies. Just hopefully they wouldn’t be ruined like Divergent. Its hard to find inspirational and amazing books these days.

  12. Veida commented on:

    When are you going to publish Winter?

  13. Marissa commented on:

    Winter doesn’t have an official release date yet, but most likely it’ll come out in February 2015.

  14. scarlet Reed commented on:

    I finally read the book from my schools brand new library. Little did I know that it had 2 sequels, and now I have to wait…
    I’m really excited about reading this new book and cant wait for it to come out.
    I also wish I had some good tips on how to get started on writing a book.
    I’ve tried, multiple times but end up getting friends don’t think I can actually write a book and I’m starting to think that they are right.
    anything helpful…or not?

  15. ^_^ commented on:

    I am almost done reading Cress, but I can’t wait for Winter to come out!!!!!!!!!
    I think I might scream when I finish Cress!^_^

  16. Daisy Doodles commented on:

    I love these “Inside the black folder” posts ! When I read the parts about Winter in Cress (plus what you mentioned at the Austin Cress Book People event), it made me think of my little niece. My niece looks almost exactly like the magazine pic (except way cuter 🙂 ) . Can’t wait till Winter comes out next year. I plan on passing these books along to my niece when she is older so she can see that girls of all colors and abilities can be heroes , too!

  17. abby commented on:

    Is Winter going to be as good as Cress (the book titles)? because Cress was AWESOME!!!

  18. abby commented on:

    i’m going to reread the series because it’s so good and i can’t wait for Winter to come out!!!

  19. Lulu commented on:

    I absolutely love your books. I can’t wait another year for winter to come out. Can’t you make the book come out this year? PRETTY PLEASE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP?

  20. Sadie commented on:

    I can’t wait for Winter! But how can I wait a whole year?

  21. Cassandra commented on:

    I just started Cinder on Friday night and I was hooked! I just finished Cress and I love them all! Just to put it out there I LOVE Scarlet and Wolfs relationship ! Cinder and Kai are really cute! And I love, Th-, excuse me, Captain Carswell Thorne and Cress! But have to say Scarlet and Wolf are my favorite. Starlets accent is really cute in the audiobook too! Thanks Marissa for writing these! And can’t wait for Wolf to reunite with Scarlet! Ahhh! Can’t wait!

  22. Piper commented on:

    I finished Cress just a few days ago, and I almost SCREAMED when it was over. I was at the park and I let out a little cry and my parents looked at me like I was crazy. I will go crazy if Winter doesn’t come out soon because I don’t want to wait a whole year!!!!!!! I hope Scarlet and Wolf get reunited. Please, please, please work fast before I die of waiting!!! Cress and Throne are so cute together!!!

  23. Ray commented on:

    I think the little girl is cute! XD I can’t wait to read about her. Also, I LOVE your ideas concerning the way the Lunar people get food on their planet.

  24. Savannah Lemus commented on:

    When is the 4th book ( Winter ) coming out.

  25. Lunar Lova commented on:

    I have finished the 3 books and they are EPIC!! No doubt the 4th book has hard competition!! I was thinking about the endin of the prince and cinder for days!! I have been waiting for a year for the 4th book to come out and now I have to wait ANOTHER year?! Gah!! I’m gonna die!! I luv how u improved the fairy tale of a princess finding magic that made the prince fall in love with her to a cyborg finding out she is lunar and the princess and her finding love wih the prince and he finds out about it too mostly when she kidnapps him!!! OMG IM GONNA DIE B-4 THIS BOOK COMES OUT!! PLZ hurry in the release date!

  26. Marissa commented on:

    Thanks, Lunar Lova, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the eries and I sincerely hope you’ll love Winter when it comes out!

    Savannah, I’m afraid we don’t have an official release date yet – 2015 for sure!

  27. Trina Castle commented on:

    I just finished Cress. I am sitting in sixth period in high school. I knew from before I was to buy Cress that Winter was to come out in 2015. So I waited from the time you, Marissa Meyer came to Hood River Oregon as soon as this book was released to this day in June to finish. I read half of it the day I got it and waited since February to finish the book because I didn’t want to be in suspense waiting for Winter. And I failed in until news of the scheduled release of Winter came out. Cress was wonderfully amaxing and everything I’d hoped and imagined it would be. I cannot wait for Winter. By the way, I am going to keep the book you signed for like ever.
    Trina Castle (The girl who drove the farthest in order to attend your tour day in Hood River and was so stoked I couldn’t even say hi correctly).

  28. Aurea commented on:

    OMG OMG OMG!!! I just finished Cress and almost screamed! I love this series so much and can’t wail for Winter! you are such a good writer and you help me keep writing stories, even when my brothers are haters! I always have such fun when I read these books and I love them so much! Thank you for all these books.

    P.S. I think I might explode waiting for Winter!!!!

  29. lauryn commented on:

    I am so excited for Winter. I dont think I will be able to wait for so long. I have read all three books and I have loved them all. I have such a hard time finding good books, and this is definitely one of the coolest stories ever!!!

  30. Olivia commented on:

    winter looks almost exactly like my sister, also why did you name cress cress? all of the others are named after the girls from there fairy tale, what is cresses reference to rapunzel?

  31. Marissa commented on:

    Cress is the tricky one to figure out! “Cress” and “rapunzel” (also called “rampion”) are both types of salad greens. 🙂

  32. Lunar Queen commented on:

    Hi everybody!! I’m 10 and I’ve read Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. Though some of it is above my level I’m a really good reader and am above my level. These books are pretty good!! I liked at least a certain part and I’m not gonna say it (so I don’t give away any spoilers) I didn’t even know that there was a another book ( Fairest Leveana’s Story) I’m probably gonna read it and maybe Winter!! #awesome books

  33. Your Name commented on:

    I cannot WAIT for Winter. I went online and checked, and it said it would come out next year. I cannot WAIT. I just finished Cress, and I started the series last week. I really love this series, great work.

  34. s0m30n3 commented on:

    1s w1nt3r 5upp053d t0 b3 5n0w wh1t3?? 1 gu355 1 w1ll f1nd 0ut wh3n 1 r3ad……

  35. Cinder commented on:

    my mother told me sometimes characters in books can come to life….

  36. Scarlet commented on:

    I heard that too…

  37. Belle commented on:

    I fell like scarlet is going to die and I am going to cry my eyeballs out in class(I mostly read in class when I can I am super busy ) and every body is going to be all like what is wrong with the crazy reading girl

  38. Your Name commented on:

    And then the teacher will make me leave the class to go ball my eyes out in the hall way!!

  39. Scarlet commented on:

    My name is scarlet and I was born in August and my favorite animals are wolves so when I read scarlet I was like what? Is this me in the far future

  40. Jasmine commented on:

    MY GOD you are torturing ME! I finished cress and wanted to cry!!! I SO WANT TO READ WINTER?? question: does winter get poisoned? any chance from an apple?? and who saves her?? PLEASE ANSWERS!!!!!

  41. Your Name commented on:

    I will cry for etirnety if these characters die:Cinder, Kai!,Throne, Scarlet, Jacin,Cress, or Winter. Especially Kai or Cinder! My friend and I are both HUGE fans and we’ve figured out a pattern. In every single book some sub character dies. In Cinder Garrion is already dead. In Scarlet her grandmother dies. In Cress Dr. Erland and Sybil plus a whole town dies. If she is ANYTHING like Veronica Roth (author of Divergent) Marissa Meyer will kill a main character. Plus in Cress we find out that Letimosis has mutated to effecting Lunars and Shells!!!!!!!!

  42. Kaylee commented on:

    I have just finished reading winter and though the ending is surprising it is so worth the wait. I love this book so much it is my favorite out of all the books (scarlet at a close second)

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