I saw a great quote from Victor Hugo on Facebook the other day. He said, “A writer is a world trapped in a person.” That’s so true, especially for those of us who write science fiction and fantasy. The world we create in our stories began inside us. You have to dive deep into that world to find all the different facets of what you create. Like spelunking, you never know what you’re going to find.
A writer puts everything he or she is into the story, put together bit by bit from the recesses of their mind. It may take years to develop a story, sometimes less and sometimes more. For me, it all began with a friendly game of Dungeons and Dragons combined with more than 10 years of sea duty in the U.S. Navy.
I’ve told you all before how, during my formative years as a young sailor in the U.S. Navy, I spent most of my off-duty hours with a small group of friends playing D&D to kill time on our long deployments at sea. This led to dreams of me and my family living on a magical island filled with everything from medieval fantasy. It was from those dreams that I created the world of Forever Avalon.
I found it quite easy to translate my skills as a D&D “Dungeonmaster” into creating my story. Actually, it’s a very similar trait, except for the grammar and spelling. My story even started out the same way as it began, with a dream.
The dream … It’s always the same.
Bryan, my husband, was dressed like a medieval knight. He’s in a fierce battle, fighting for his life. Monsters, goblins I think, swarmed around him like angry bees. He fought them off with a fury I’d never seen before. He wielded two swords—one blade was black as night, the other shined like
The numbers were too great for him and one of the goblins got through. The creature jumped on his back and stabbed him through the heart with a dagger. He screamed in agony. I felt his pain. He fell to the ground as they continued to beat down on him until he disappeared in a sea of monsters.
I wake up screaming. It’s always the same.
It’s funny how something as simple as a dream can grow into a world all its own. This kind of creativity comes about in so many different ways. Ray Bradbury said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” I find this absolutely true. Whether it’s a blog post, a simple tweet or a few pages of my next novel, If I don’t write something every day, I start to get a little stir crazy.
Writing is that form of expression that helps us through the best and worst of times. Writing is an escape from the real world into that place we created within our mind. I go there every chance I get and, through writing, try to bring as many people as I can with me. Why don’t you come in and join in on the adventure? What have you got to lose?
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse. The Outlander War can be previewed atInkitt.
2 thoughts on “Exploring the mind of a writer is a lot like spelunking”
Great post! I find your experience with D&D fascinating. I never played it myself but lots of my friends did. It makes sense that your skills as a dungeon master would transfers over. Now I am wishing I would have taken the plunge and played some D&D with my friends.
The game is still around today but it has morphed into something that’s, even more, time-consuming than the original. That’s why I stopped playing, though my daughter is trying to get me to join her group.
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