Savvy Saturday 5

Writing fiction is a strange business. A novelist’s job is not just to imagine a story that can flow well in his or her own head, but to somehow illustrate that story so that readers can see what the novelist sees, smell what the novelist smells, hear and taste and touch and even feel what the novelist feels when he plays out his story inside his head.

Some of this detail can be purely invented and brought to life by a novelist’s imagination.  Even fantasy novels, however, benefit from a healthy dose of real life research—especially when an author isn’t personally familiar with the details of what he’s writing about.

Today’s Savvy Saturday post features some of the research that I did for The Quest of the Unaligned. The pictures below are all images that I used as inspiration for events, places, or things in the novel. None of them are my work—Google Image Search is my friend—and none of them should be taken as a picture of “what X actually looks like.” But with that said, I bet you can guess what scenes I had in mind when I went looking for images to help me describe them more concretely.



Throwing Knife

A Throwing Knife


NYC at night

New York City



A Baldric and Longsword





Narrow Canyon

A Narrow Canyon


Black Widow

A Black Widow


Purple Lightning

Lightning Strikes


Castle Great Hall

The Great Hall of a Castle

Isn’t it amazing what you can find on the Internet? Just be glad I didn’t post the videos I spent too long watching of “how spiders attack their prey.” That was fun…

As always, if you have a question you’d like me to answer in a Savvy Saturday post, let me know via Facebook ( or Twitter (@phillipsauthor)!

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