Magic Writer is the blog of Elise Edmonds, an aspiring author in the midst of writing her first novel, just like me. Here's her bio-
I’m Elise Edmonds, a new writer, living near Bristol in the UK. I look forward to using this blog for literary inspiration and learning more about the craft of writing. I’m interested in all sorts of books: fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, young adult, new adult, mystery, classics, chick-lit, historical fiction – and plenty more. I’m currently writing my first novel, a young adult fantasy about a teenage girl who works in a magic carpet shop. I hope to meet many more like-minded people on my journey, so do stop by and say hello!
We became good friends on Scribophile. She's also on Twitter, which I don't have an account with. She's also almost as addicted to Pinterest as I am. She uses it for a lot of writing inspiration too (amongst other things, but so do I). Most recently she was using it to inspire her Worldbuilding posts by pinning pictures of castles and other fantasy type settings. You can check out her Pinterest here. We share a board about Superheroes, because who doesn't love superheroes?
Anyway, her Castles and Worldbuilding posts have been super helpful, and inspired me to focus a little more on the scenery in my own writing. I'm just terrible with description, and I find it more of a second draft add in rather than an initial instinct in my writing. But, I was inspired to try and find some pictures of real world places that generally fit with the pictures in my head of my settings. The first place I thought of was Kyla's home. Though very few scenes actually play out at her home, it's still a big part of her life because up to this point in the story, it's the only place she knows.
The image I found that most accurately depicts what I imagined Kyla's home to look like is the Ardverikie Castle in Scotland. It's not what I thought I'd pick, but I love it. Originally I was going for a more traditional Scottish castle (think Castle Dunbroch from Brave), as Kyla's family was more war centered and would use a castle for strength and protection rather than comfort. But when I saw this picture, I knew it was where Kyla grew up- surrounded by forests and just off the beach. It's still an old enough style that can be used for war and for comfort. It's the Tykran Castle.
I also found a place that I think is a pretty good depiction of how I imagined Floures Academy to look, the Fagaras Castle in Romania.. Ignore the green surrounding it, because Central City is paved completely with white stone, and remember that the center is also indoors because that's where the library would be, but this is what sits in the exact center of the Four Kingdoms. The red roof is what makes it stand out from everything else in Central City.
I had a lot of fun scouring the internet for inspirational buildings. I plan to spend more time finding other castles that are distinctly different to represent the other castles in the other kingdoms. But for now, I'll return to Worldbuilding.
Magic Writer has a collection of all her Worldbuilding posts, since there have been a few so far. She starts off talking about how to pick a fantasy setting, and so far she's worked her way through Countries & Terrain, and then moved on to Cities. There are going to be a few more posts in the series, and I can't wait to see what else she has to say. It's very nice to see someone go through as much detail as she is. As a plotter, I need to know all the details before I can write about it, and her posts have helped me figure out many of the more specific things that I've included in my story (for example, I changed a lot of things from the second chapter when I do a quick summary of the exports of each kingdom, because I figured out geographical features of each kingdom and what makes more sense for each location).
Not wanting to steal her words, I'll leave everything on her own blog. I highly recommend checking out what she has to say, because it has been very helpful to my own worldbuilding for Powerful, a story that relies heavily on the geographical, cultural, and religious differences between each of the Four Kingdoms.
That's all I have for now. I'll add links to more of her worldbuiding posts as they become available.