Traveling is another way to get inspiration.
For years I had been reading articles about desert towns and entire towns for sale. I have also visited old Western towns and mining towns like Calico (California) and Oatman (Arizona). I plan to visit Goodsprings (Nevada).
A recent trip through the desert and mining towns of Nevada solidified my resolve to finally write what would become “Desert Town Angels.”
As the LOML and I drove through the Nevada desert and passed signs near Area 51 for Alien jerky, I was thinking about all the stories that could come from this mythic military compound.
The LOML turned to me and asked if I was getting any story ideas.
Traveling does amazing things for your imagination. How does the sky look? How does the air feel? What does the landscape look like? You can close your eyes and feel the atmosphere. Traveling and visiting new places is how you derive inspiration to make a fictional town come to life.
Many mining and desert towns have one similarity and that is the reality that the main road is just a pass through for major traffic going anywhere else but the desert town through which they are driving. You will pass through a town and never know its significance.
We passed so many towns that had gone through bust and boom mining gold and silver, but we would never have known that without learning a little about their history as we traveled.
Virginia City is an exception. This mining town near Reno and Lake Tahoe is historic. One narrow road leads through a town of wood buildings all connected along storefronts leading out to a wooden walkway. There is a train and a mine tour, but be prepared to walk up and down hills as Virginia City is in a very hilly part of Nevada. There is even a gravesite on another hill outside of town. Looks like something right out of a Western.
You don’t just aimlessly drive through Virginia City. It’s like Oatman and Calico, they’re all tourist destinations.
This was the atmosphere that finally solidified my resolve to start writing “Desert Town Angels.”
In addition to having an inspiration from articles, I now had the atmosphere I needed to fuel my imagination.
The experiences you gain from traveling, they inspire the real world feeling necessary to give life to the world about which you are writing.
If I don’t blog for a while, that means I am writing furiously or editing.
Whenever I am writing and I am stuck on a plot point, I feel the need to continue writing so that’s when I get ideas for a blog. I get ideas for ANYTHING from blogs to baking!
I usually blog when my brain is working through character direction and plot. Then I dream a scene and stop blogging a while.
(I just finished my seventh, a Novella, “My Vegas Valentine,” and I am working on my 8th, a short story, “The Unbreakable Heart of a Princess.”)
When I am done with the short story, I will write about my final inspiration, which is creating atmosphere based on a place you have never been, but heard about in a news story.
I believe you can write about anything without ever being there, as I write about Nipton in Part Three of this series. There would be no fantasy stories or stories set in outer space or on other worlds if we didn’t have the imagination to wonder what’s possible if we could visit these places.
R. A. Lee