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Sources of Inspiration: Food for Imagination

We’re in the middle of my favorite month, a time of brilliant fall colors and my favorite grapes.

It’s also the month of Halloween.

If there’s a holiday I love writing fiction about, it’s this one. Vampires, ghosts, and witches are among my favorite subject matter all year around. Halloween celebrates the gothic. It’s a holiday associated with ancient crypts filled with secrets or creatures waiting to be released within banks of mist in which the undead could be waiting. Grinning pumpkin illuminate the darkness, drawing attention to smiles that are a little disturbing.

All of this imagery is food for the imagination. This is good because I need to eat up. Next month is NaNoWriMo. I need to stock up on inspiration.

Time to bring out Midnight Syndicate.

I have several CDs (yes, I still use CDs) which I bought in the Spirit Halloween store. All three of them were by Midnight Syndicate, featuring creepy background music which generates images of haunted houses, towers, dark landscapes, and lurking monsters in my mind. They’re also great for a dungeon crawl or a Halloween game. (Just ask Matt Mercer. He often uses their music for Critical Role.)

My absolute favorite of their albums is Born to the Night. Not that I don’t love Realm of Shadows and Vampyre, too, but there’s something about Born to the Night which speaks to me. The opening chant, its musical narrative draws my imagination after it, following it to a beautiful, yet creepy place where the ambience takes over.

I find myself visualizing a character who’s part of the darkness, yet terrified of it. I accompany them on their journey, sense the form it takes, shaped by the sounds.

Sometimes I return to a certain character, over and over, like Rhodry, Christopher, Danyel, or Tayel. Sometimes someone new steps out of the shadows in my mind, whispering their secrets, reacting to the surrounding around them.

I always find myself going on a journey somewhere dark and menacing, where conflict waits in mysterious, yet alluring forms.

How about you, dear reader? Does Halloween or anything you associate with it fire up your imagination?

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