Today’s Writing Muse: Dangerous Trees

Writing Nirvana: discovering one “story fix” that solves more than one problem. For instance, the tree trunk above can help with two writing issues all of us deal with:

  • Making our character’s journey to solving a problem more difficult that it already it. (You can always make it worse for your characters, and you should.)
  • Bringing our story’s world to life through setting.

Imagine your character needs to climb a tree in order to reach her goal, be it safety, buried treasure, or a clue to the mystery she is trying to solve. Your character climbs the tree, reaches her goal, and goes on to the next scene. Pretty boring, huh? Even if you add dialogue or a little bit of a slip that requires her to use her strength to pull herself up, you can increase the intensity of the scene without adding a sniper, bomb, or other outside force.

Just have her climb one of these trees. 🙂

In doing so, you will have increased the risk of climbing the tree, which will create emotional angst and possible physical issues. You might even encourage your character to find some new friends who can help or seek out an alternative. You also will have included something special into your story, which will make your world seem more real and more physical.

A simple change from a regular tree to a spiny tree can change your whole story. Look through your writing and see if you can raise the stakes for your characters by heightening the danger with the forces of nature.

If you need a muse to get a story going, take a look at the trunk and ask yourself a few questions:

  • Why does my character need to climb this tree?
  • What if, instead of a character climbing the tree, the tree falls?
  • What kind of person would climb this tree to begin with?

There’s your inspiration! Go!

Fantasy novelist M. B. Weston is the author of The Elysian Chronicles, a fantasy series about guardian angel warfare and treason. Weston speaks to children, teens, and adults about writing and the process of getting published. For more information on M. B. Weston, visit Find out more about The Elysian Chronicles at

About M. B. Weston

M. B. Weston is an award-winning fantasy, pulp, young adult, steampunk, and paranormal author. Her attention to procedure and detail gives her works an authentic gritty, military feel that takes an adventure tale to the level of a true page-turner. Weston’s writing attracts both fantasy and non-fantasy readers, and her audience ranges from upper-elementary students to adults. A gifted orator, Weston has been invited as a guest speaker to numerous writing and science fiction/fantasy panels at conventions across the US, including DragonCon, BabelCon, NecronomiCon, and Alabama Phoenix Festival. She has served on panels with such authors as Sherrilyn Kenyon, J. F. Lewis, Todd McCaffrey, and Jonathan Maberry. Weston has spoken to thousands of students and adults about the craft of writing and has been invited as the keynote speaker at youth camps and at several schools throughout the US.
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4 Responses to Today’s Writing Muse: Dangerous Trees

  1. Pingback: Deep In The Woods | Living With Schizophrenia

  2. Pingback: Today’s Writing Muse: The Swamp | M. B. Weston's Official Website

  3. Pingback: Two characters walk into a bar « Write on the World

  4. Pingback: Childhood Fantasy and the Writer « Jeannine Vegh

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