Writing Influences

I’ve written several articles in the past regarding finding inspiration to start writing, but I thought that for today’s post I’d write about how you can keep writing and what drives development of your ideas by looking at what influences have driven the development of the lands in which I am setting my work.

Although there is a long list of purely fantasy influences, I find it interesting to look at what influences are outside of the genre.  So setting the fantasy ones aside some of my key influences which have helped to drive my imagination for The Bloodsoaked Lands are,


  • Braveheart, 1995:  This and Gladiator were two major contributors, but for this film what I loved most of all was the impoverishment and treatment of the Scottish villages and how each of the villages were shown to interact with incidents involving one village having a rippling effect upon the surrounding areas.
  • Gladiator, 1999:  What gripped me here most of all was the opening battle scene; with its woodland setting this is very much how I envisioned the wars between the Doth-Erians and the Gracians to be like.
  • Excalibur, 1981:  This is one of my all-time favourite films; here what I like is the interaction of magic with warfare, it is how I see the House of the Icain aiding the Doth-Erians within this region, it’s not so brutal, it’s more utility based in nature. Although if it was the House of Montar the scene would be very different as the Montar hold a more combat orientated focus.
  • Seven Samurai, 1954:  With this old school classic by Akira Kurosawa I draw upon the plight of individual villages.  As The Barrowlands is strewn with small villages they are often brought into conflicts in much the same way as depicted in this movie I have tried to develop a setting which allows for adventures and player opportunities similar to the ones presented to the samurai in this film.

Computer Game

  • Rome Total War, 2002:  Again a major influence which has both mirrored and enhanced that of Gladiator, yet for this game it is not only the game-play and setting that has got my mind active but also the music as lyrics such as “you’re only as strong as your heart allows” typifies the mindset for both the Doth-Erian’s and the Gracians.  While “we rise with noble intentions and risk all that is pure” is the quintessential Doth-Erian purist attitude.

Adapting these into the traditional high magic fantasy setting is what has been the driving influences in the regions that I am currently working with, however as more and more of my world is detailed for you I will detail a range of different influences which have helped to generate ideas and enthusiasm.

As mentioned above I’m keen to hear what influences you guys as well so leave a post below.