As someone who grew up with television, visuals have always been important to me. Can’t you get a sense of time, of place, from those period dramas? Translating that to paper – or to computer screen – is still the most difficult thing for me.
As a writer of historical fiction, I have to be careful. I visited Nottingham in 2010 and took this photo of the gatehouse.
ACTION! Picture knights on the towers, archers, flights of arrows darkening the sky. Hear orders shouted out, the rumble of wagons, the stone throwers slinging huge boulders that smash into the curtain wall.
CUT! This gatehouse did not exist in 1193!
Fortunately, I knew that as I dove into my first draft of the sequel to Men of the Cross. Still, the photo is a wonderful inspiration. I can still have my siege at Nottingham Castle and have great resources to pull upon, including Drage’s Nottingham Castle, a Place Full Royal, Briscoe & Lever’s A concise history of Nottingham Castle, and Foulds’ “The Siege of Nottingham Castle in 1194.”
Writers – where do you find inspiration?