Getting in the Mood

My sample for Peacemaker is now complete and I’ve sent it to my agent. From there it will go to my publisher and (hopefully) I might hear something back before Christmas. I’m excited by what I’ve written, and feel the world and characters firmly in place. There is not a lot more I can do for the moment, other than hope.

So, the Writing the Novel series will take a slight detour, while I talk about the process of beginning my new YA novel, Grave Light (was called Ruzalia) . Although it is the second in the series (bk 1 Burn Bright), the characters have shifted location, so I’ve been spending the morning hunting out visual stimulation, in between writing scenes. Like many people, I have a fascination with abandoned buildings. Not their creepiness, but more the sense of the past that inhabits them. What went on between their walls? What jealousies, passions and betrayals? I get the same quizzical thrill from buying second hand books – though to a lesser extent.

I’ve chosen a couple of buildings on which to model the new setting (the home of Ruzalia the pirate). I thought you might like to see them. These were taken from the

Using images as stimulation works well for me and I did this extensively with the Sentients of Orion series.

Having two chosen exteriors, I’ll probably end up with a mashup of them.

What do you use to get you going on a novel?

  • I came across an account on flickr that was all shots of abandoned buildings, old metal asylums in england etc. Sense of history flaking paint on walls. Will try and track it down for you.

  • Marianne

    Fabulous, Sean. Particularly nice lighting in those. What is it about peeling paint that is so atmospheric? Neglect speaks volumes.

  • I have wondered if as an Australian growing up chiefly in the outback that old decrepit buildings hold a special allure. In my hometown you’d be pushed to find anything too much older than 1950’s.

  • J-A Brocke

    Brilliant! Wonderful places for inspiration, and good way of grounding the locale.

    I started with a key event and characters, then drew my map to get the climate, geographic features etc. You can’t write fantasy without a map!


davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 





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