…but not usually in my fiction. When I invent a landscape, I find it almost always bears a resemblance to the terrain I grew up on: rolling plains (mostly pasture) with dots of trees and forests in the distance. I grew up on a farm 20 miles or so south of Dallas, TX, and unfortunately, so do most of my characters.
It’s not entirely my fault. How many great fantasy novels have the same landscape? Frodo’s race through the wilderness with the Nazgul on his heels could have taken place partly in my backyard. Years after I first read those books as a teen, Frodo’s night-time flight still stays with me, as do the adventures of many plains-bound characters.
I’ve been trying to branch out lately. I had a recent experience with a mountain that I’ll tell you all about next week, and it taught me a lot about breathing at elevation when one is used to sea level. I’ll have to incorporate that into the characters in my sequel who move from the plains to a mine in the hills. I also want to play around with deserts, maybe some oceans, hell, anywhere but rolling plains with occasional forest.
How about you? Made up worlds look remarkably like where you spend the bulk of your time? Or maybe your childhood home? Do you like to imagine your stories in landscapes completely different than your own, real or imaginary?