After some time, I’m returning to the topic of taking inspiration for my writing from my hikes. This time, I’ll focus on the inspiration given by weather and unexpected issues. The first post I made on this topic can be read here, while a post about some mishaps here.
Despite the fact hiking was when my thoughts about the story I started to write became the most prominent, I never imagined I’d use some of it as inspiration. Less so when they were the not-so-pleasant parts.
Beware of bears
Bears are good for the mountain ecosystem but that fact might be hard to appreciate when you actually encounter one. While I am so far lucky enough to avoid such a meeting, that does not mean I take it lightly. Becoming more aware of my surroundings and not going alone are the two main safety measures. Knowing where they are more likely to be (the least used trails, of course) helps as well.
Inspiration: The first combat seqeunce in the Eternal Defenders trilogy is a scene when Tyr’eshal defends himself against an angry, starving bear.
Hell has frozen over
I know people who would prefer to stay home the moment the temperature drops below 0°C. Few would voluntarily go hiking in such conditions. More so if you end up waist-deep in snow and your memory is the only working navigation as all traces of a path are hidden by the snow.
For someone like me, it’s not that bad. For someone two meters tall in plate armor, it gets way worse even on walking. Snow is an easy way to make fighting a hell for a character.
Inspiration: The first book in the Eternal Defenders trilogy will show a skirmish in the cold where the attackers try to use it against the MC. There’s also a scene showing such a weather can be enjoyable – if there aren’t bad guys waiting for you. The second book will have Tyr’eshal venture high into the mountains to secure something (not saying much for spoiler reasons).
There was supposed to be a bridge. Whoops, the melting snow caused a flash flood and the bridge is gone. In the best case, you can jump over the (now calm) water or just walk through if it’s a small stream barely reaching your ankles. If not, it’s time to remove your boots and just for the stream.
Another possibility is that weather is against you and you have to face proonged rain, a sudden thunderstorm, or just waist-high grass wet after the rain/storm passed.
Inspiration: Whether it was a summer storm that came out of nowhere and gone just as fast or a prolonged rain, I am no stranger to it. In the second book, Tyr’eshal will get a fair share of bad weather on one of his journeys – including the need to fight on a drenched field.
Being alone in nature is a good way to clear your mind. It also has its dangers. Not only your thoughts can turn towards doubts and fears – more so if the weather is gloomy. You need to rely on yourself. Getting lost is a risk in unknown places. Injury or fatigue is another. Then, all the relatively minor issues like running out of food/water, sunburns, scratches from falls or pushing through foliage…
Inspiration: This is one I did not use much yet. Weather-induced doubts and gloomy thoughts are used a bit in my writing but that’s part of a topic I plan to cover some other day.
So, that’s it from today. I’ll return to this topic a few more times, possibly in roughly two-week intervals. I’d like to hear from you – is there something in your life you find inspiring for your writing?