Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Spectacular Settings

When I first began my story, I created a hand drawn map and searched for images that would fit with my fantasy.   It is three years now and I am still working on the Kingdom of Asteros.  Some of my ideas have been discarded but others have become well known and well loved places.  
 There are three main settings in the story.  It opens in the Ecclesian Forest in Spring.  In the Ecclesian forest there is the Chapter House where the Healing Order lives.  I particularly enjoy this setting because a remote, stone castle at the edge of a forest captivates my imagination. I've added wood panelled Dining halls and Meeting rooms as well as secret trap doors.  Vines grow on the outside.  Also this is where the Weaver's workshop is - a room dominated by a large weaving loom and with a full glass ceiling.  
Also in the Forest is the village of White Oak which supplies the House with staff and food. 

To the North is the city of Rhaegaard, the administration centre of the Kingdom.  It has tall buildings and a river running through it.  It has more advanced technology than the Chapter House. 
My original idea for the Chapter House was that it was remote and if you look hard in the bottom right picture,  you might see a building in the left of the picture.

The southern kingdom of Calaren is where the king lives in a castle above the town nestled into the side of the hill.  (top left).  Here there is a harbour for trade with the rest of the Kingdom.  I love the idea of houses nestled in the hillside like that.   

I recently attended an author talk with Tina Marie Clark who talked about how we can make settings iconic and how they become characters themselves.  Settings ground the reader and bring the world of the story to life.  Readers can fall in love with settings as much as they learn to love the characters who live there.  

All that is true as I continue to live among my characters and enjoy the settings I have created for them.