Thursday, November 21, 2013

When Fiction Isn't So Fictional


My story Beautiful Medusa is set in Greece, but it's a fantastical Greece that never existed, a world filled with gods and monsters and a map of Europe that's almost unrecognizable.  I wanted to make everything grander, more magical.  I wanted readers to delight in seemingly impossible settings.    

And I did it by drawing on sites from around the world, because I quickly realized that nothing I could come up with could be as amazing as reality.  

Take this for example:

I stood upon a bare white rock. Before me was a lake made of the purest shade of blue, as if the water had captured the sky. I let my gaze sink all the way to the bottom, a school of fish swimming through the perfect azure water. At its far edge, a sliver of land hemmed the lake in, water cascading over the top and forming another pool down below.   
...
One lake poured into another, and another after that, in an unbroken chain that went on for miles, each pool with its own unique color palette of greens, blues, and grays.

Wow, that's so pretty, if only something like that existed in the real worl...

Oh, wait, it does.

The Plitvice Lakes in Croatia

 Or how about this:

I left my room, wandering down a corridor and becoming lost in a maze of oversized hallways, large enough to accommodate Prometheus’ more monstrous guests.  I tilted my head upwards and gaped at soaring archways decorated with the most genius scrollwork.  Sunlight streamed in through long, rectangular windows, while geometric patterns and painted tiles graced the walls.  Every so often, I stumbled upon a courtyard garden or reflecting pool I had never visited before. 


Lindaraja Window, Alhambra

Yes, Prometheus' fortress is a biggie-sized Alhambra.

This last one is my favorite though, mainly because I took the photo myself:
 
The house loomed before me, constructed of stucco and stone, with a red tile roof and ivy climbing up its sides. In the daytime, if you set your gaze to the south, you could spy white-capped mountains and the shimmering sea.


This is the first thing you see when you step off the bus at Delphi

So far, I've taken inspiration from Spain, Hawaii, the Himalayas, Croatia, and of course, Greece.  Who knows where my mind will wander to next? 


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