Writing Research: The Skyrim Edition
"The setting is moody, mysterious, and frigid..."
" All the descriptions are gorgeous and real, showing the author's artistic background in the way the setting is painted in exquisite detail. "
" ...description of scenery and events made me feel like I was there ...."
Readers have praised Fairest Son for its descriptive setting and atmosphere, and I attribute this to many things...reading other great books, real life experience, artistic devotion, and..........Skyrim.
Now, now, don't laugh just yet! I know it sounds pretty silly to say gaming could be at all helpful to writing when most of the time immersive video games such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim often gets in the way of writing.
For sure, nothing beats knowing a setting as actually standing in it. I'm blessed to live in the Northwest with an outdoor-loving family, so I've experienced that soft stillness in the middle of a winter wonderland, heard that crunch through the crust of deep, untouched snow, felt the dizzy height and crisp air of the mountains.
But there are some experiences that I would rather not know firsthand....such as charging down treacherous slopes with a bear or troll on my tail....sighting down a bow at my prey....delving deep into unknown caves....searching for a place in the wilderness to sleep before darkness falls....that makes a role-playing game such as Skyrim (especially one with mods) pretty fun for getting an idea of another era or life.
To be hoooonest, I don't think I've ever played Skyrim with the purpose of research in mind, but when it came time to writing Fairest Son, the setting came to life vividly before me, and when I tell readers that Skyrim might have helped with that, those familiar with the game often laugh and agree that they could see the influence. So maybe those hours weren't wasted after all, lol. ;D
Disclaimer: I did not create Keeva on Skyrim and then think "Oh, I should write a book about her," (though that's not a bad idea)....rather, I created a Skyrim Keeva based on the book...and she turned out shockingly accurate to my illustrator's edition! :D