Sunday, October 9, 2011

2nd Sunday Savors: Research

Poenari Citadel, Romania
Due to the popularity of my Dracula's Castle post last spring I decided to add a Part 2. When I visited my motherland two years ago, I had planned on doing research for my first vampire novel. I didn't think I would be able to make to Poenari, but luck smiled on me. Sit back and travel with me through my little adventure to the castle of the fabled undead Count.

First I wanted to see what it would be like to hike to the top as my heroine did in my book. Armed with my camera and water bottle, I climbed the 1400 steps. Just as I was about to turn around because the steps seemed to never end this is what came into view.

Of course I couldn't turn around now! I practically sprinted up the remainder 100 steps leaving my poor cousin huffing and puffing to keep up.  This is what you see when you enter the citadel.

This "corridor" leads to the central tower there you can take a peek of the side of the fortress.

The view is looking east towards the south tower. As you can see above stone and red brick make up the wall. The lower section of the wall made of grey rock is the original wall. The brick lay is a result form the restoration attempt done more recently.

The south tower and possibly the place from which Dracula's first wife leaped from during the Turkish invasion. 

 Looking down from the south tower at the Arges River. It's pretty far down there. Chance of survival-pretty much non-existent.  The road next to the river leads to a large dam, hydro-electric station, and a gorgeous mountain lake.

 This walkway is where the north wall once stood and leads to the main square tower. Several earthquakes and centuries of neglect caused the wall to collapse down the side of the cliff the citadel is perched on.

 Looking down at the bottom of the tower. You can see  where the wooden beams crossed. A documentary I watched regarding this fortress mentioned the floor once stood there forming a perfect holding cell for prisoners. They would lower their captives down into the dark dungeon with no chances of them getting out. 

Here is Lake Vidraru which feeds the Arges River. The peaks you see beyond are the Fagaras Mountains and the homeland of my vampires. Those mountians are full of legends and myths, but I'm developing my own because I can. It's the beauty of writing fiction and fantasy.

Research is very valuable to writing. From research you gain inspiration for your work. I write in first person most of the time so it's very important for me to experience some of the things my character would. I have to see how things feel, taste, sound, and look like. Of course there are things I can't experience first hand.

When I went to Smart Chicks Tour, author Jennifer Barnes' advice (and I paraphrase): If you have a choice between trying something new or writing, do the new thing.

Excellent advice. New experiences supply you with an arsenal of interesting things to spice up your novel.

Thanks for reading. Next week 3rd Sunday Sweets. I've been reading lots of fun books lately. Hmm, which one shall I pick from....


  1. Very cool. Thanks for sharing, it's inspiring to see these pictures.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for stopping by.