Friday, January 26, 2018

The Bewildering Pine - Inspiration Is Found All Around - 4th Friday Post - January 26th

Hi Everyone!

It's time for my fourth Friday post again.. Fourth Fridays area peek into the world I am creating for my fantasy novel titled, "The Ledgerkeepers"

I'll be focusing over the coming moths on the things/places/tales from our world that have inspired my fiction and stories for this book.

Some of you know I began the world building for the book over 18 months ago. A slow process that I immersed myself in fully. I was well aware when I began that I might only use 1/10th of what I create, at least in the first book, but I needed it all to have the world make sense to myself as the narrator.

Choosing what to show is not difficult. Most of it is dictated by the characters actions and the setting they move through but there are always some bits of coolness that you just want to have in there no matter what!

So with my plan being to unveil the near complete Bewildering Pine map here next month, I wanted to talk abut about what inspired that map from our own physical world.

I knew the world was going to be set in a post cataclysmic landscape. The entire geography shifting and leaving many of the inhabitants of the pre "Great Upheaval" world in survival mode. How that might shape this world physically was a lot of fun to ponder.

The idea of a place surrounded by immense sea walls on three sides and incredibly high mountains on the fourth that rose up splitting a larger landscape and basically creating a large bowl shaped land t to the south hat rises to outward towards it's edges and slopes downward from north to south. Accessibility or departure is only via the bay whose natural defenses are tricky and dangerous in their own right and nearly imperceptible from the Great Sea beyond.

The climate is sub arctic but warmer several months of the year to allow for a massively productive growing season (the short-season). An ancient Pine forest spreads along the base of the mountains and there are two rivers that originate in the mountains. There is a round peninsula at the furthest point south that holds a large bog where all the runoff collects and saturates the loamy soil. It's a fantasy novel so I was able to stetch the bounds of reality a bit. It was only necessary that these things were all possible in the climate and then I could bend them to my writer's will a bit.

So in thinking of the form and function of the landscape, I simply looked to our own world for examples that gave me the "ok" I was seeking. I could have done all this research on the internet but I went to the main branch of our county library to try and capture some of that old-time investigative fun of looking through a stack of books!

This image really started the whole notion of the sheer cliffs and a very inaccessible landscape from the sea. 

This pic of the Andes mountains was perfect to inspire the mountain range which I wanted to be volcanic, sharp-featured staggered ridges and massively tall/impassible in my low-tech world. Also, it inspired a legend of the mountains being the remains of the last living giant's teeth. . . and that led led to an expression of surprise used among the folk: "Bezik's teeth!"

These bogs and the walkways that run through them are the inspiration for a similar area, known as Berwick, in my world. 

And this strange landscape in the Faroe Islands gave me the idea for the "bowl" shape with rising cliffs out at the edges. 

 So that's where the world began. Well, my fantasy world.   Having a starting point gave me the canvas for making the map, which is an ongoing work as well, and I hope to share it with you next month on fourth Friday!

Thanks for reading!!


PS: I recently listened to a short Sci-Fi-Fi story called "Repairing the World" by John Chu as read by Levar Burton on his Levar Burton Reads podcast. What I loved most about the futuristic world the story is set in was that there were only a few indicators that it WAS in the future. Rifts in the fabric of time that can be repaired and the use of mechanical dragonflies as messengers.  The story is completely about the main characters and the prejudice that survives in that future world,  the way society views people on it's fringes.  Leaving a very real and scary notion that things may not get better in every way as we move forward in time. . .  Well worth a listen though!


  1. Hi Nicolas :) I think your fantasy world is glorious. Those photos are great inspiration for setting. Love it! :)

    1. Thank you Rain! I look forward to sharing more of it in the months ahead in greater detail!

  2. I agree with Rain, I think your fantasy world is truly beautiful!!! Love the photos you gathered!
    That Sci-Fi story you listened to, does sound scary!

    1. Thank you Stacy! I look forward to sharing more in the months to come!

  3. Really enjoy seeing all your inspiration photos of wonderful landscapes. I think the land and physical environment have to come first and all the cultural stuff is affected by that. Fun to imagine how a society is shaped by it’s accessibility or it’s climate!
    Can’t wait to see the map!