At this time of the year, midyear holidays with many people going away, I am reminded of my trip to Britain last year. Not only was it one of the best trips of my life but it also turned out to be the most productive. At the time I had only been working on my second novel, Guardian Core, for a few months but over the first two weeks in Britain I doubled my word count. I had plenty of time over these two weeks since I was on a bus tour, hence many hours each day were spent writing in the bus.
The atmosphere and interesting knowledge about medieval Britain helped my story come to life. I saw numerous castles that gave me valuable insight of the real layout of castles and medieval cities. I saw how buildings were fortified and designed in the middle ages. There are a number of pictures from this trip on my 'Images' page. The York Minster was probably one of the most inspirational buildings we looked around. One of the main sections of Guardian Core came to me by walking through this magnificent building of stone.
When on the road I was able to observe landscapes that I had not seen in person. Living in Australia, our native plants are generally a dark brown/green colour, not the bright green that existed in Britain. They have rolling hills crisscrossed by streams and low stone, medieval walls. Their trees are lush rather than woody and scraggly. The landscape is much more like how I picture the landscape in my fictional world of Branzia and actually seeing it in person formalised the picture in my mind. On the bus is when I wrote the most and all I had to do to see that landscape was glance out the window.
One day I will definitely return to Britain and I will take my time and see everything. I only had a short period to see as much as I could last year. However, from this trip I learnt that sometimes a different environment, or country, can help to get your story ideas flowing in a torrent, almost too quickly to keep track of.
Scarlett Van Dijk
Where have you gone that inspired your writing?
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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