It’s hard to believe 2020 is finally coming to an end. I’m refraining from thinking about what 2021 will hold. Instead, I’m focusing on the past—like centuries ago past.
Fantasy is built on our world, to some extent. The muse inside my head is arguing about how different fantasy can go, but that thought process is for another time. Let’s just work on the premise that in order to make a story’s location accessible to a reader, the fictional world must be built, in some degree, on our own shared history.
So, I am spending time researching castle layouts to add to what I already know. Learning about the different structures, their defensive capabilities, animal shelters, water gathering systems, etc. to give fuel to my muse. Using castles that already exist as a basis helps to ground the fictional world in a language and layout most readers will accept without needing to go draw a schematic.
My goal is to create worlds and stories a reader can fall into. One they can immerse themselves in. The last thing I want is for them to pause during reading, do a double or triple take, and essentially be yanked out of the narrative due to a confusing castle blueprint.
It takes time to go through all the sites to find ones that are both good and informative. But once those are found, it’s just pouring in the fuel for the muse.
I wish everyone a happy and safe 2021.