The beauty of writing fantasy is that the majority of it comes from deep within my soul. Demons, realms and objects of sorcery are all figments of my warped imagination. There are no limits to what the mind can conjure.
When it comes to witchcraft and spells, or herbs and lotions, even battles and weaponry, then I need to turn to research materials. As I’m sure many of my writer friends will confess, research can be distracting. It is, therefore, better to write as much as you can and return to fill in the blanks later.
As I write for a teen audience, I often include facts or tips within my stories. I am a trained crystal healer and use gem stones in a variety of ways. In my latest YA book, Guardians of the Dead, I integrated the chakras and was able to weave their meanings, benefits, and colour therapy into the story.
Some of my readers may never notice, others may be mildly interested, but there are those who will resonate with the information. I received a lovely email from a reader who had recently had a reiki (energy healing) session for her anxiety. Something clicked for her when the therapist talked about the chakras, and suddenly my story reached a deeper level for her.
I am fascinated by history, myth and legend and would love to work on a re-telling of a classic fairy tale. I am also obsessive about fantasy art and Pinterest – you can read my post about using Pinterest as a writer HERE.
Research isn’t always about the facts and figures; it can include character inspiration and setting. I know that I’m not the only writer to trawl around graveyards with a camera!
Of course, research can, in itself, dig up a whole host of story ideas. I recently filled a couple of pages of my notebook with new concepts, all because I was researching calendar months and their myths.
I love to use random facts as writing exercises, especially for my flash fiction work, so let me set you a fun challenge. During my recent stint of research, I discovered that in 1752, Britain abandoned the Julian calendar for the Gregorian. By doing so, the 3rd September 1752 instantly became the 14th September 1752, leaving British history with eleven missing days.
The fantasy writer in me instantly leans toward a time-travelling portal, but how would you use this research fact? 😉
Image courtesy of saphatthachet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net