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World-Building: "Ash Bringer"

When it comes to world-building, I can visualize what I want to write pretty well, but there are tons of ways that I help myself along. One of those ways is an inspiration board. Ok, in this case, it's more like an unorganized folder of photos on my computer, but it's kind of the same thing, right? Today I wanted to share my inspiration board for Ash Bringer. Well, maybe it's more like BOARDSSS because I have made plenty.

When it came to my characters, I wanted to flesh them out. I wanted to see them in my head. Their fashion sense, their likes, their colors, and just a general feel for what their presence would be like.

Draven is the epitome of an alpha male. He's also someone who's been around a long time and carries the burden of being a reluctant leader to his people on his back. He's lost a lot over the centuries, including many of his brothers and his biological twin, Valerio, and takes that with him everywhere. When it comes to humans, he has a sort of bitterness toward them that makes him intimidating and unpredictable as he sees no point in treating them like equals. His fashion sense is a mix of things he's picked up over the centuries, from old-fashioned coats to classy button-ups and leather pants. I also chose to put his horse, Jericho, on the board because it's one of the few aspects of his life that portrays a more caring part of his personality that regards life as a gift. It also shows how rooted he is in the old days and he's even referred to as looking like he doesn't belong in the current time.

When it came to Everly, I was absolutely certain that I wanted to make her into someone who came out of hardships stronger than before. She lost everything in a fire, but to Draven, she's beautiful. I wanted the scars on her back to represent something meaningful as well since Draven often refers to them as such. While she is soft and fragile on the inside, she's a sharp and determined fighter on the outside. She extremely protective and yet pushes relationships away for fear of losing them. Everly is also haunted by fire as it is the thing that killed her family and scarred her body, but Draven represents that danger and yet she falls for him. There's a lot of conflict in her and I loved writing it into the story. She's a storm cloud rolling through the sky ready to burst!

One of the other scenes I wanted to map out was the gala as it's one of the biggest turning points for the characters in the story. It's the place where the answers really start to come into light. The styles of the sector are more fleshed out, showing how extravagant the Draakir can be at times in order to show their stature to others. It was a powerful and tense gathering that ended with a "bang" and really set the story on fire. Heh.

There are a lot of other scenes that I would love to create boards for, but these were the ones I was most adamant about when I was writing book 1. Creating these helps my imagination flow. It helps me feel the emotions and see the colors. I even collect smells. Yes, smells. I go to candle shops and incense stores and shop for the aromas I think my scenes would have. The smells that I think would be associated with my characters. This world is alive to me, writing its own stories in my head while I sleep. I'm just here to put it on paper <3

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