world building: pictures and inspiration

Browsing google images is one of my favorite work past-times. Really πŸ˜‰

Here are some pictures that more or less inspired some settings in Light with a focus on Helos.

Yes, it’s Venice and in a way pictures like that inspired how Helos looks like in general, even though there is only one Canal running across the city. There’s me halfway tempted to rename the ‘Canal’ to Styx – yay for Greek motifs, but I don’t want to overdo it there.

The Canal – It more or less splits the city in two. This reminds me that I really need to draw a map some time soon. This will hopefully be the next world building project πŸ˜‰

The Finger of Light – sort of. It definitely stands out with its glass facade, just like the Palace of Light. Helos is pretty much a clash of sparkling modernity in its center and poverty and slums in the lower city.

Part of the Palace of Light. This again is sort of a mix as its exterior sort of modern with a lot of glass and all shiny, representing the Empire, while the inside looks a lot like your Renaissance or even Victorian palace. I like to play with modern vs. medieval mixes πŸ˜‰

The Pits – i.e. the dungeons under the Finger of Light. This is only the harmless part πŸ˜‰

Nightshade – the city’s red light district. Image Amsterdam etc just without the cars and you’re there.

The Shadow – yeah, it’s Serenity and it’s actually flying, but what can I say? Firefly totally inspired the idea about the Shadow and I imagine her to be that kind of cargo/shuttle ship. So even though the picture isn’t really accurate, it gives you a general idea.

Sunport – at sundown here, but still, Helos’ central harbor.

The Sandlands – this is how most of the south of Illyria looks like. Um, can you say global warming?

Storm’s End – the southernmost point of Illyria. Though we never really venture far out of Helos, Storm’s End and the Sandlands come up now and then and one never knows how book two turns out, right? But seriously, I need to make a map. And with that I’m off to scribble.



For anyone who wants to see it, here is the link for the oil painting I made of Ares and Damian. It’s nothing special, but I like it well enough. I’m planning to do something more complex featuring Ares, Dawnelle and Damian soon, but I need to do the lineart for it first πŸ˜‰ It’s good to use painting and drawing as an outlet again, I haven’t done it for ages. Strangely enough the last time that I was in a drawing phase was when my friend Janna died two and a half years ago. I guess it’s a form to think and relax for me, it just helped me back then, but now I love to use it to picture my characters better and to think about plot details etc. in general.

As far as the actual writing goes, I’m making good progress since I set my own deadline. I have some time during work that allows me to write, but still I get to do most on the weekends or at my favorite coffee shop. What can I say? Caffeine is excellent writing fuel. I’m now midway through Nineteen, introducing Xavier Coras, a slimy yet devious drug dealerΒ  from theΒ  District,Β  gotta love howΒ  he pushes Damian’s buttons, so let’s hope nobody gets shot πŸ˜‰ After that I’ll write the new prologue and will jump from past events among the Shadows to the present time: Ares and Damian at the Palace of Light πŸ™‚


I guess every writer has their own favorite place where inspiration kicks in. For me, this place is my bed or the shower, strangely enough. Anyways, yesterday I actually had Stephen help me out there, because he came up with a great idea to solve one of the things that I still hadn’t quite planned out as I wanted to. I guess that proves that you can get ideas on how to write something even from a person who doesn’t really read. The fact that Stephen doesn’t read leads to great frustration on my side, but at least he’s interested in what I’m writing, so I’m pacified πŸ˜‰


I actually got back into writing yesterday and I’m excited! I just wrote 315 words, the beginning of chapter Twelve. But since I only had like half an hour at work to spare to sit down and actually get back to it, I think it’s not too bad of a start. The next few chapters are already outlined and even though I’m going to make some major changes of the story as opposed to how it’s been so far, I’m pretty optimistic

With this chapter I’m getting back into the controversial area of Light, but it’ll be a lot of fun and hopefully a good read.

I probably won’t post anything until after I’ve a) finished the first draft and b) done some major editing because I already know that once I’m done with this, some things just won’t fit together anymore. But hey, I’m really excited about this plot again and it feels good to get it flowing once more!

P.S.: Sira, I started downloading Firefly yesterday and it should be done some time tonight or tomorrow so I’ll watch it soon πŸ˜€