I've written a few (more than a few...) posts on my current WIP, The Descendants of Drasia: The Prequel. So many different things, big and small, inspired this story idea, and today I'm going to share with you a few of my "inspirations."
1. A renewed interest in writing fantasy.
I wrote fantasy fanfiction for a long time before I got "serious" about writing stories with my own characters and ideas. For a while, I broke away from any sort of fantasy writing, thinking a break from being so dependent on that genre was a good idea, and turned to historical and modern fiction. While I'm still very interested in those genres, something wasn't clicking from my brain to my pen. So, I decided to go back to the genre that I grew up with and loved: fantasy. And, whadyaknow, it seems to be my niche...for now ;)
2. The BBC series Merlin.
I got into watching Merlin either at the end of the 4th series or right at the beginning of the 5th (can't quite remember). Sure, the show is made for kids, is quirky, and at times very cheesy, but I adore it. The show renewed my love for the medieval fantasy. (In fact, while watching Merlin, I came up with the idea for Drasia.)
3. A new-found interest in Arthurian-legend as a result of Merlin.
Now, Drasia does not contain any Arthurian legend, or any tie to anything in the legends we have in our real world, but again, it inspired the time period for the book and helps motivate and inspire me to write.
4. Beautiful medieval costumes.
Need I say more?
Who says dragons have to kidnap the damsel-in-distress and be killed by the heroic knight? The dragons in my story are centuries old, wise, moody, and play a key part in the development of my main character. I mean, who doesn't want to fly above the world on a fire-breathing, butt-kicking, smooth-gliding dragon? ;)
6. My love of mountains.
I've been surrounded by mountains for practically my whole life. My parents grew up in the midwest, so whenever we take a vacation we go to the "flat-lands," and let me tell you, the wide-open space not only makes me feel smaller than I already am, it plain frightens me sometimes. I feel like anyone can see me, uncomfortable, and unsafe.
Enter the beautiful, mysterious, snowy mountains of Minaeth edging the border of Drasia and the rolling hills surrounding the forest that draws a line between the two kingdoms. Aahh, seclusion and quietness. My best friends.
As I hinted at already, there are mountains - there are forests. I love to hike through the mountains and trees, especially in the fall when the colors are ablaze above in the sunlit trees and leaves made bolder on the dewy ground. There's nothing like going for a ride in the car and keeping an eye out for wildlife that might be scampering through the woods. Forests are peaceful and "alone," the same feelings I try to convey through the book as it is Marta's "hiding" place.
Duh, you can't write a good fantasy book without ONE castle. From castles on high hills, stretched along a waterfall, or hidden deep within black stone, I draw mood inspirations from the fixtures of grandeur.
9. Mordred's Lullaby and Loreena McKennitt.
Mordred's Lullaby is written by Heather Dale, who takes Arthurian legends and turns them into beautiful songs (hence it being a slightly darker song that perfectly fit when writing "those certain scenes" in my book). Loreena McKennitt writes songs of Celtic and Middle Eastern themes, my favorite so far being The Lady of Shalott (which, yes, is simply the poem in song form). I listened to both of these particular songs especially as I was first writing this draft, and they are haunting and beautiful.
(Mordred's Lullaby, but be sure to check out The Lady of Shalott as well. A long and beautiful song)
10. Medieval weapons (Swords, bow and arrow.)
11. Watching shapes form from smoke rising from a flickering candle.
The simple act gives me great inspiration when I'm about to write scenes with my character, Marta.