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Fantasy Friday! The Roots of My Fantasy Writing

Lots of writers have roots for their writing. Sometimes we know exactly from where our source material springs. However, other pieces from our work may not be so obvious.

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OregontreesI’ve been thinking about the various settings in my upcoming book and realized there are a number of places I’ve visited in the past that serve as the basis for these fictional locations. They seem common for fantasy but they are more specific for me and aren’t based on previous fantasy worlds, familiar though they may seem.

For instance, Auguron Forest is actually based on a place I visited in Oregon as a child where the trees were enormous, some of the largest cedars in the world exist west of the Cascade Mountains (notice #2 on this list). Eagle’s Aerie which appears early in the book is based on an actual rock formation on the coast of Oregon, though not exact in reference. It’s called Haystack Rock and you’ve probably seen it in pictures. Without giving too much away, there are settings that occur underground that remind me of caves I’ve visited.

haystackrockLooking forward to the next book, there are travels in mountains based both on places I’ve been and those about which I’ve read. Another location is The Funnel where pivotal events from the main character’s life occurred. I was rather surprised a few years ago to visit a place very familiar to me and realize that it was the basis for that setting (I don’t want to give that away yet so maybe in about seven month’s time I’ll write about it).

The point is that, especially in fantasy, you may think you are influenced by other fantasy writers who have gone before you. You may think your ideas come from nowhere. You may think you have no experiences from which to draw. However, there may be more to your writing than what you think. Seemingly forgotten, or even mundane, events or trips from you life may be the real roots of scenes, settings, characters and pivotal events.

BOD FinalFantasy is fantasy – it’s filled with places like almost anywhere you may have visited. What I write often references what I’ve seen but it’s not necessarily something from what I’ve read from any other author. What’s more, what a reader associates with a fantasy locale may be entirely different from what I envision – that’s personal, what someone’s read or where they’ve been. The trick is to get the reader into what I’m writing enough so that they envision story from their own experiences.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Interested in more of my writing? Just click one of the retailer banners on the sidebar to see more.

About the Author

P. H. SIMG_4154-Editolomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, ru
nning, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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Quick Tip: Turbo-Charge Your Scrivener Searches

Scriv Search OptionsScrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

When editing, searches are very important. Scrivener uses several ways to search. I recently received a search tip from a fellow author over Facebook and I thought I’d share it here in more detail.

Use the following wild-cards to improve your searches for combinations of words: the symbol | for “or” as well as & for “and”. For instance, if I wanted to search for two words such as Scrivener and wild-card I might use this to see reveal either since both may not be present: Scrivener | wild-card. If I want to find all instances of both I would search: Scrivener & wild-card.

However, in using these you will have to make a few changes with the Scrivener search tool. The search is located in the upper right of the main software window. Click the down arrow at the spyglass icon to reveal search options. I found that in searching for words as described above, it’s best to select “Text” and “Whole Word”. The options below these are chosen depending on the the extent of your search.

Using this and similar searches can help identify words and changes that are needed in your projects. With these tips you can improve the effectiveness of you editing as well as the speed.

Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - CopyPlease share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

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IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on July 2nd, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: ph at phsolomon.com (replace the “at” with @, it’s written that way to avoid spammers).

 

Starting With Scrivener Pt. 2: Expanding Your Tool-Set

Tech Tips 3Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

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Last week’s post addressed the question, “Where do I start?” Hopefully, you’ve taken the plunge and started you first project. By now you probably feel more comfortable with what you are doing in Scrivener just by using the Editor since it isn’t very different from other such products.

You may have toyed with the Binder and found that it’s useful in arranging your project. If you haven’t yet worked in it, take some time to create some folders and documents and move them around. The Binder is very easy to use and is an excellent, graphical feature for organizing your writing.

There are several other features you can begin using in addition to the Binder and Editor. First, you can familiarize yourself with the Format menu which will help you get your document just right. Next, you can write with a customized background rather than seeing all the boring stuff – it’s easy to choose a background and toggle the feature on/off.

Multi-Function Tool - photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Multi-Function Tool – photo licensed via iStockPhoto

Now onto some really good tools you’ll find useful. You can create document templates for your project. This will help you create new documents and quickly jump into your creative work rather than wasting time configuring all the details each time.

Also, learn how to turn on the Inspector bar on the right side and access more tools. You’ll begin to use Notes, References, Keywords, customize Meta-Data, work with Snapshots as well as add Footnotes and Comments.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

 

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

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IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

Sign-up to receive my free ebooks today.

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Just as a note: I now have a marketing affiliation with Scrivener. For support questions, pricing, licensing and other concerns please contact the vendor. As such a buy ad for Scrivener appears on the sidebar. I’ve started this program since I like the product so much and want to offer readers the chance to obtain this software. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. You can also find my FTC statement on this site’s sidebar.