Writing inspiration – colours of Australia

Sandstone horse sculpture I’m currently working on a short story to submit to a speculative fiction anthology. My protagonist finds herself returning to her homeland, where the big skies fill her lungs and flows in her veins, and she is forced to face dark secrets she’d hoped to leave buried in the red dirt.

While looking for an outback photo to illustrate the image of my fantasy world, I came across this one I took of Horse by Jumber Jikiya, which sits in the sculpture symposium in the Living Desert at Broken Hill, New South Wales. Horse was apparently created as a tribute to rare Georgian horses slaughtered during Stalin’s rule. I realised this sobering history draws some parallels to aspects of my story.

The symposium consists of twelve sandstone sculptures, which change with the sun’s rise and fall in this amazing landscape. I’m always awestruck by the beauty and harshness of our natural world, and how it becomes its own character in my worldbuilding and writing.

Please leave a comment to let me know what you’re writing now – what inspires your writing and settings?

About the Author

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I'm an Australian writer inspired by the environment and folklore of this great southern land. Having worked for many years in the animal industry, as a veterinary nurse, stablehand and puppy school teacher, my stories also explore animal behaviour and the human-animal bond.

7 Comments

That red landscape–what inspirational fodder for writing and exploring both the internal and external lives of your characters. Good luck with the submission. My current writerly inspiration focuses on a natural setting as well, and I realise that for me I have to know a place well to feel I can do it justice in writing. Thanks for the post and the striking image.

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Thanks Robyn, there’s so many incredible places in this world to carry into our fiction, isn’t there? I agree with your comment about knowing a place well to do it justice in writing. I have a folder on my computer with pictures of amazing landscapes like Pammukale, Ronda, Bridge of Immortals (China), Lena Pillars, Rainbow Mountains in China etc, which are great fodder for my fantasy writing, but it’s not the same as standing somewhere and breathing it in, with the smells and sounds and feelings/emotions. I think there’s a real art to writing places well, it’s something I often struggle with.

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I’m writing about a woman who has to return to her seaside home to overcome her tragic past. I’m always inspired by my own surroundings, relationships and experiences. It’s easy to write about the ocean when you can look at it from your window πŸ™‚ I think of my protagonist quite a bit when I go down to the beach. The story is part of a collection that will be ocean-themed. I doubt I would be writing these ocean stories if I lived elsewhere. Hopefully one day I’ll get to ride my horses on the beach when they come to live here too.

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I like the concept of a collection of ocean-themed stories. I find that relationships and experiences play a big part in my writing too, and getting out away from other people, in nature, helps drive the narrative and characters for my stories. Riding the horses on the beach sounds great! Maybe fuel for another story? πŸ™‚

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