A Drift of Quills is bringing you their worlds—in brilliant technicolor! “Picture This” this is a recurring subject with the Quills. Why? Because it’s so darned fun! We love sharing our worlds with you, giving you a peek behind the scenes. Take a look at some of our favorites…
A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

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A Drift of Quills: Picture This #3—We love sharing our worlds with you, giving you a peek behind the scenes. Take a look at some of our favorites…

Making up worlds is one of the best things about writing in the fantasy genre. It’s also hard work! There’s a lot of space for the fantasy author to let their imagination run wild, but we also need to tether our settings to a reality the average reader can relate to.

My short story, The High Roads, opens in the woods as night approaches…

Foggy Redwoods—the setting for "The High Roads" short story

(mage of Foggy Redwoods courtesy of mrwallpaper.com)

Shifting shadows beneath the giant greenwood trees gave the forest an eerie appearance. Dense strands of mist from the sea intensified a sense of the ethereal. Telic Ruan waited against a tree trunk, gazing up at the branches that hung some hundred feet above his head. He refused to let the capricious ghosts of the coming night intimidate him.

That picture, that description, sets up the entire story. Well, duh, right? That’s what it’s supposed to do!

Right, but the trees and the fog are symbolic! So are the ghosts. Those four sentences lay out Telic’s problem—and his problem with the problem.

He thinks his problem is the Luzzil Ones, a race of inferior but sentient creatures who live in caves.

Luzzil Caves—setting in "The High Roads" by Robin Lythgoe

(image via Stopford_lad on 28dayslater.com)

“Not slaves — useful and productive members of society. Can’t you see that’s the best thing for them? They can’t organize themselves in any practical way. They can’t even take care of their own! You’ve been to their villages — if you can call them that. They don’t even know how to build! They live in caves full of filth and disease. All we want to do is help them lead productive, healthy lives.”

He doesn’t understand the real problem…

Have you read The High Roads? How do you picture the setting? The characters? Send me your pictures!!

(If you haven’t read the story, you can get a copy for the price of joining my email list. The link is in the sidebar! It’s also available on Amazon.)


Patricia RedingAuthor of Oathtaker and Select
Patricia’s website

The Oathtaker Series is set in a medieval sort of time. Of course, as it is a fantasy, it does not correlate to any actual historical age in our world. Thus, as the author, I had the pleasure of making it exactly what I wanted to be. With a fantasy, the author chooses all of the details of that world in which the tale is set. So, that world is what the author says it is—nothing more, and nothing less. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to what technology might be available, how people dress, what they eat—or even the language they use or the way they speak. (Few of us could read the languages actually spoken in our world during the medieval period anyway, so why pretend to write in a manner exactly representative of those days?) Consequently, “medieval” is not an altogether apt description of Oosa, the land of the Oathtakers and Select.

I’ve decided to share pictures of a couple of buildings from my tales…  (See what Patricia is sharing!)


“P.S.Author of A Hero’s Curse (The Unseen Chronicles Book 1)
Parker’s website

Long have images stirred my imagination. I recall flipping through dusty old classics looking for illustrations. I would sit and stare at The Chronicles of Narnia, or histories on Greek myth, entranced by the sketches within.
But images do more than keep me flipping through my tattered copy of Treasure Island–pictures are what start the whole story for me. C.S. Lewis talked about the same. When discussing how he came to write the books of Narnia, he wrote that they “all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood.” My own storytelling is similar. I write from images in my head. For me, it was the picture of a young blind girl standing in the desert, listening to a long-awaited storm rolling in… (What will this lead to?)

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Many authors have “setting boards” on Pinterest. Do you follow any? Which are your favorites?

Let us know in the comments below!