J M Archer lives in an enchanted forest filled with prehistoric trees, strange creatures, and the occasional stray cow—aka South Carolina. She writes high fantasy interwoven with the truth of God’s love and forgiveness, and the comfort found in the one true Lord, Jesus Christ. When not writing, she’s likely covered in paint, discussing random medieval facts, or arguing with a fat cat.
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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I’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.
Looking 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.
Fantasy 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. 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, 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.
Hi everyone! The White Arrow will release on 10/3 – next Tuesday! The day is fast approaching. Release days are exciting and fun. I’m planning a lot of activities but I need some help getting the word out. I need 100 (more than that are welcome!) people to support my announcement that goes out next Tuesday via Thunderclap.
Please take a few moments to click over to my announcement page on Thunderclap and add your support to my crowdspeaking effort. When the message goes out, it will send a social media blast to a large number of people. Your help is appreciated and I hope everyone will drop by this site on Tuesday to have a look at the release festivities and see what the book if you haven’t pre-ordered it already. Feel free to share or reblog this post so more people will have a chance to support the message.