My family and I just returned from a week-long vacation exploring the natural wonders of South Dakota (and the not so natural ones, Wall Drug anyone?). We had a blast and I would suggest it as a great place for your family to vacation. But, believe it or not, I do not work for the South Dakota Department of Tourism. Throughout the week, I was inspired by the sites we visited and couldn't wait to start writing.
Every writer has their things that inspire them to write. For me, nature is consistently impressing images on me that I can’t help but want to write about. As primarily a fiction author, I have found this to be a great impetus, but also a daunting challenge. One of the important jobs of a fictional writer is to describe the surroundings in such a way that it allows the reader to be transported to the world you are describing. Maybe it is a fictional world entirely created in the writer’s mind, or maybe it is an actual place, like the Badlands.
As my family and I explored the Badlands, I was in awe. We took in the breathtaking views, like the one pictured above, and my mind almost immediately had thoughts swirling around in it about how to use this view, this backdrop, in a fictional story. But the challenge, as I mentioned before, comes right after. How can one put into words the amazing site that was before us?
I had similar experiences as we continued our vacation. I stood and looked out at the great marvel that is Mount Rushmore, enjoying my kids’ amazement as they beheld it for the first time. We had run-ins with animals and got up close and personal with bears. Maybe a little too close for my liking. We found ourselves transported back in time in the old town of Deadwood. And who doesn't want to write about cowboys? We also enjoyed animals and other natural wonders again as we explored Custer State Park.
I returned from vacation with more story ideas than I have time for. I haven’t quite yet decided which majestic image I should try to put into words. But they are there, imprinted…