Story Progress

A little update on the story I am working on.

My recent trips around Scotland have proved very inspirational indeed, despite my story being set almost entirely within a vast walled city, post an apparent apocalypse. The desolate nature of many of my trips has certainly helped in creating a tone I want to incorporate within my story.

It hasn’t just been Scotland though, there have been some very diverse inspirations for what I’m trying to accomplish now that I think about it, such as the manga “Blame!”, Mervyn Peake’s “Gormenghast”, various films and games that focus heavily on one or two characters (Monsters, Dredd, Dark Souls…) and also a whole host of music – often instrumental. Furthermore, I don’t know if it is the cheese I’ve been eating lately, but I have had some pretty messed up dreams which have proved a rich source for character ideas. The antagonist of my tale somewhat resembles a Japanese Slenderman crossed with a stick insect – 10ft tall, vaguely human in design though stretched impossibly, fours arms and two legs but traverses on the hands, preferring to keep the feet held aloft and hanging over the spine, not unlike a scorpion. I dreamt that, so I’ll probably be seeking counselling at some point soon 🙂

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months piecing together ideas and plot points rather than diving straight into trying to write something (which I did with my last story idea and ruined it as a result…). However, this weekend I’ve managed to outline and name 35 chapters, plus a prologue and epilogue. The skeleton is taking shape. It really doesn’t begin much like my first post anymore (that *was* written on a whim on Christmas day) and I think I’m nearly ready to start writing some chapters properly!

Also, if you like spoilers, I’ve some critiques of Shin Megami Tensei IV and Dark Souls II planned to add to this blog sometime!

An Inspiring Holiday (Part Three)

OK, so I didn’t get chance to continue writing up my holiday as soon as I’d have liked to, but I’ll be able to write some vastly diminished memoir of… “the wondrous sights of Inchree Falls, the sheer disgust of the Ballachulish Hotel (don’t stay there), and the otherworldly, lonely brilliance of Glencoe’s Lost Valley!

As we left Skye, the torrential rain was severely starting to limit our options of things to do. We weren’t that bothered about getting wet, but nearly all of our clothes were sodden and we still had another day! We saw Eilean Donan Castle and decided to have a look inside. No pictures were allowed inside but it was a fairly interesting building to have a scout through. I was a bit disappointed that some of the cool looking small staircases were cordoned off though; I would have liked to have seen what was at the very top!

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We took a few photos outside, I bought a view books for further treks over Scotland and we continued on to Ballachulish.

Now, I’ve stayed in a fair few hotels in Scotland now, so I’m kind of aware of what to expect: a little old fashioned, but usually in an endearing way, a feeling that perhaps I’ve stepped into Twin Peaks, and hint that perhaps the place is haunted, and some ridiculous highland music (I say ridiculous because while you can tell it is meant to epitomise Scotland, it sounds like an American composed it based on films and books rather than experiencing it personally. Well, the Ballachulish was a bit different. It was straight up awful, and it cost me £100 for the night! After an iffy introduction from a man who seemed all to eager to get rid of us, we walked the half mile of corridors to get to our room (okay, maybe not half a mile, but it was a long way!). The room was big, but size did not compensate. The furniture looked slightly below what a student would expect from furnished digs, it was cold, a crushed can of Tennants was in my drawer, the bathroom looked terrifying (definitely perfect for a hammer horror setting) and the bed looked like it had seen better days a few decades ago.

We dumped our bags and got out.

We drove around looking for something to do, had some cake and heard that there were some waterfalls nearby at Inchree. This was a good walk! The path worked its way through a thick forest, up hills and past several smaller waterfalls before bringing you around to an edge that gave a superb view of the mountains and the glorious Inchree Falls that were far bigger than I had expected given the earlier falls we had passed. It was rather breathtaking, but I’ll be lazy and just throw up a couple of pictures to get that across…

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With the falls seen, the rain came down again. We had a few minutes back in the freezing hotel then snuck out to eat somewhere else. A hearty dinner of mussels and fish. We eventually went back to the hotel and tried to sleep, it wasn’t easy and I had a nightmare which in turn inspired a chapter of my book, so it wasn’t all bad!

We were up early and out early. We had some breakfast at the hotel, but it was nothing to write home about, so I’ll carry on. We planned to visit the Lost or Hidden Valley of Glencoe. Aptly, it took a bit of finding! Once we had stumbled upon the route into it, we set off on the path between the mountains. I absolutely loved this, a steep ascent up makeshift rock steps, onto the side of a ravine with a good 60ft drop down to the falls below. It started snowing as we climbed and it was at this point that we discovered my partner suffered from vertigo! She had a sit down while I went on further into the the gap between the hills. The snow was thicker up here, and I really felt like I’d stumbled into Skyrim! Unfortunately I didn’t get to go to far among the caves, falls and trees because I didn’t want to leave my partner alone for too long. The place inspired me so much though, that I am planning a return trip to the place again soon. I’ll go on my own if I have to (my family all live at least 300 miles away so getting them to pop up for the day is somewhat difficult). Once again, as time is tight, I’m going to throw up a few pictures of the place. It was astounding, and I would suggest to anybody with a penchant for exciting hill walks to take a detour to Glencoe and witness the valley yourself!

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And that’ll do. It’s been a while since I went now and I’ve strung it out far enough for a holiday that cost me less than £500!