Where do you get inspiration for your story’s location? I’m writing a fantasy story for NaNoWriMo this year. I have a broken arm and shoulder so I gave myself a personal goal of only 10,000 words in place of the usual 50,000. This meant I’d be writing a novella (small novel). But I was bereft of ideas for the location to a particular scene until I remembered my son had invited me to play Skyrim with him one night and — ta da — my characters had a home!
Now, understand that when I say “play” I actually mean watch, (haha) and I know as a writer that copyrights are something to be respected for the original creator. With that in mind I joined my son on a Skyrim walkabout to get the feel of the land and take notes for my own fantasy world.
I also took some notes from the landscapes of LOTR and the breathtaking photos by Ray Majoran in Compassion Gallery. His photos from Iceland are spectacular.
Have you found a particular game, movie or real life location an inspiration for your writing? Leave a comment.
Til next time, remember you are loved by the One who made you in His image.
Read. Read. Read. Follow other fantasy writers online, take pieces from every fantasy book you’ve ever read and enjoyed, scribble notes while you watch your favourite fantasy TV show, watch fantasy movies till your eyes get all buggy and you grow antennae. Then when you’re about to burst – Write. Write. Write!
George R.R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, offers this advice when writing fantasy: “…stealing from one source is plagiarism but stealing from lots of sources is research!”
The fantasy world
I believe you can’t add characters until you know where to put them. Feel free to disagree. That’s just a personal opinion because that’s the way my brain works. So before your Elf prince can rescue the fair woodland maiden, you may need a place for them to live in.
If you’re like me and you’re a very visual learner, Pinterest is a great place to start for fantasy images you can save for future reference. You can click through to the websites and read the entire article about the image if you trust the source. You can also create a ‘secret’ board for images you may like to use for settings and characters in your next novel. Another great place to find images to inspire you is DeviantArt, (you can block certain images by using the ‘Mature Content Hidden’ button). Then, when you can steal a minute to yourself, grab your favourite libation and sit back in your chair and daydream of the faraway places and mystical beings on your boards. Or sketch yet-unimagined places and beings of your own!
What does your fantasy world need?
As you collect your images or draw your own art, be thinking what your world needs to make your story a fantastic one.
What kind of terrain and atmosphere will your story need?
Does it need seas, rivers, animals, birds, mountains, valleys?
I love to take a walk in the woods and imagine my characters walking there too. A woodland would be a great place to take some photos of your own if you’re writing a book about Elves and Halflings and use them as ‘gems‘ to promote your book later.
This is one of my favourite things to do when I start a new book. Watch for my next blog post on Fantasy World Mapping with two free cheat sheets!
Til next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.