It's quite simple, really: A public pension, encouragement to keep going, and assurance that not all the stories worth telling have been told.
In the fictional world I've been building for my novel, there are semi-spiritual beings called syven (a Siberian term for "helping spirits" or familiars) that can be bound to a person's tattoo and later summoned in need. Here's how I imagine they look.
Susanna Clarke's 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell' is no mere fantasy mixed with historical realism. Each page seeps with clever wit, and it raises poignant questions about our modern relationship with the Otherworldly.
A famous poet and an English critic read 'The Lord of the Rings' and had surprisingly similar things to say about the function of imagination.
In my spare time I write fiction, and I like to listen to medieval and/or fantasy-inspired ambient music while doing so. Here are a few songs and playlists that get me going.
Insights from three critically-acclaimed authors of fantasy fiction about the intricacies of world building. World building is cool and fun, but it's anything but easy. It takes you to the heart of culture and human nature.
Some paintings that have inspired me over the past few weeks as I scribble away in my spare time.