But despite outlines and timetables, the epic developed its own life. For example, new characters whom I had not anticipated suddenly appeared. In the siege of a mountain fortress, a character emerged in the process—as the fortress was in the throes of being destroyed, Odysseus’ son Telemachus discovered a girl fiercely holding her own against three of his soldiers. He sent them away and, when she was too exhausted to continue fighting, captured her. Pelagia was her name; she was the daughter of the chieftain, who had brought her up as if she were a son. Her capture had a profound effect on the rest of the story, for she became a major figure. To a lesser extent, the same applied to Amunet, a Phaeacian slave of Helen of Troy.
As a result, the complex outline of the work continually evolved, with four major changes made to the epic within two years.