Moonlight plays a part in many of my stories’ scenes. My characters might take a quiet walk as the day settles. The intimacy of the night’s shadows closing in can allow a private moment to steal a kiss, or two, or lead to much more. The dark and silvered lake water might lure them to peaceful, sensual swim. It can encourage quiet conversation. Or the night’s shifting light might be a welcome cloak to mask troubling emotions.
What does moonlight inspire for you?
I also wanted to share this wonderful piece from The Piano Guys. I love Beethoven and cello.
Photo by: Thom W
I write mostly fantasy, not historical, but this streetcar trip along Market Street absolutely fascinated me. This is four days before the great earthquake. My grandpa Al was 6 years old. My grandpa Harold would be born in one year. All these people going about their day’s errands, the businessmen catching the streetcar, boys running along with a motorcar, the willy-nilly traffic– a perfectly normal day, their Ordinary World, and in four days it would all change.
As I watched the streetcars and the horse-drawn wagons, the motor cars and the horseman, I began thinking about setting and world building, and the interesting conflict possible in the mix of the modern and the old in a place on the cusp of change in so many ways.
Market Street after the quake:
Films of the aftermath:
San Francisco Earthquake Aftermath, Part 2 (1906)
San Francisco Earthquake Aftermath, Part 3 (1906)
One of my characters is currently lost in a maze of tunnels without any light. He’s been plucky so far, but I’ve left him at an intersection of four tunnels and no clue which way to turn.
And I was thinking what would happen if he came to a section of tunnels like the picture at left? Corridor after corridor, decision after decision.
Here in the picture, sunlight is spilling in, but in my story he’s in utter darkness. He’s not a happy character right now.
So, how can you use this situation for your characters?
Have you ever been in utter dark?
Writing Prompt: For today, your character is lost in the dark. He can be in caverns, or tunnels, or even a maze above ground. Perhaps even a space station. What does he do? What tools or knowledge does he find he has to help free himself from his predicament? How does he feel? Is he afraid of the dark? Will he be afraid hereafter? Does this adventure cure a fear of the dark? Is something tracking him? If there is sunlight spilling in, like the photo above, can he reach it or is it only a tease of rescue? This is a good time to exercise description without using sight. Describe what your character feels, smells, and hears.
Photo: Päivi Tiittanen
My stories take place mostly in fantasy lands, but here are six castles that have inspired portions of settings in my stories.
Malbork Castle, Poland, was founded in 1274. The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress, and is the world’s largest brick gothic castle.
Warwick Castle, England, was built by William the Conqueror in 1068. Originally a wooden motte-and-bailey, it was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century.