It’s so difficult to come up with a title within the Giantess context that isn’t a fucking pun…

But seriously. A good writer, a diligent writer never stops reading. You read everything you can get your hands on: a fishing lure catalog, a neighborhood newspaper, websites of political extremists you hate. Everything! Because you never know when you’re going to find a gem to showcase in a future story, the raw materials to flesh out a believable character to whom your readers can relate.

One of my favorite examples of this is Grildrig’s “Aftershock“. Before you even get to the juicy size-fetish material (which comes with a deeply satisfying slow fuze), the reader is treated to a well contemplated brace of military physics in the form of personnel extraction tech. How it works is interesting enough, and how it goes wrong is dead compelling, and none of it would be possible without Grildrig’s solid apprehension of physics. Certainly, the story could stand and move along without it, but these details—regardless of whether you follow the math—enhance the story in a new dimension. It’s that little extra labor that gently nudges the reader out of disbelief. No, we don’t think giantesses exist in this world, but… that dose of detail pulls us into his world.

You never know where this inspiration will come from, either. You can read all literature, scavenge for all comics and graphic novels with a huge lady on the cover, you can haunt message boards for all recommended movies (never would’ve heard about Bocaccio ’70 any other way). It’s still crucial to step outside of the familiar and the expected, in order to stumble upon a hidden treasure in an unlikely place.

My wife makes a hobby of studying conspiracy theories and even bothers to research some and debate these with me, to winnow the remotely plausible from the bullshit. It’s a refreshing intellectual exercise, in moderation, and there is no shortage of outrageous hypotheses from which to choose. In sifting through these, however, I’ve come away with the crude ore for a complex story arc and world-building project. Giants in the earth, the Nephilim, Hollow Earth/Lemuria theory—groups of people have already done the heavy lifting in creating these stories. All I have to do is glean what’s useful to me, polish away the rough edges of debunked or inexplicable phenomena with the Mandela Effect… and now I have characters, a world, and several plot lines waiting for me to commit to “paper”, so to speak.

You’ve just got to read everything. Something’s going to be useful, or something will remind you of something else, inspire you… Keep your eyes and ears open. You never know.

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