Monday, March 12, 2012

Novel Inspiration from Hocking Hills State Park

I've posted pictures (July 2011 and August 2010) in the past from visits to Hocking Hills State Park.

The picture below is of a small cave formation that inspired the location for a scene in Blood Sword. Those who've read the novel might recognize it. While the photo isn't exactly what's described in the novel, it's pretty close.

Sometimes readers and other writers ask where inspiration and ideas come from. For me they come from places I visit, literally or by way of the written word (fiction or nonfiction), and through television programs, and even discussions with family, friends and acquaintances.

The photograph above illustrates a prime example. I'd seen the formation a number of times in the past. It just stuck with me, and when I needed a place for a particular encounter in Blood Sword to occur, this memory found its way to the front of my thoughts and into my outline. It survived the actual writing and revision. And there it remains for readers to experience.


  1. It's the werebat's cave! Awesome.

  2. A common question asked of writers is, "Where do you come up with all these creative ideas?"

    Your blog, Terry, illustrates a great example of the answer to that question. Ideas, scenes--even plots or sub-plots--surround us. The writer's greatest challenge is to observe real life and remove the mind's "box" from around it. Something as simple as a wild deer turning the tables on the hunter who's stalking it, might be the very theme needed in s sci-fi or fantasy scene.

    I watched a show recently about Asian carp, an invader species in many US lakes and rivers. When boats pass near them, they leap out of the water, occasionally injuring people in the speedboats because these carp reach weights exceeding thirty pounds. Slamming your face into a thirty-pound carp at forty miles per hour can be deadly. That concept will find its way into some future writing of mine, probably as an unexpected complication, but it might even be part of a survival sub-plot.

    Thank you, Terry, for making so vivid an example of using real life to build fantasy scenes. Good stuff!

  3. DS Sault,
    The carp collision complication. It's just the type of thing to work well--not ordinary. You are so correct. Take note of things seen and observed, and apply at a future date in a novel or short story at the proper time.

    Thanks for reading and expanding upon my blog post's thrust.