One of the best fantasy stories I had ever come across was not from a book. It was a video game.
Myst, in fact.
Myst was the very first fantasy experience that made me feel… alone. How could a video game capture or cause those feelings? You’re walking around, looking, looking and the isolation is oppressive, both visually, but more importantly, through the plot you have to pull up, bit-by-bit, puzzle-by-puzzle. It was magical and it was sinister. There were no monsters, there was a void. The crashing waves. The silence of non-talking. A library of books with more questions than answers.
I played Myst and vowed that I would capture the essence of that aloneness in a novel. Could I use oppressive isolation as conflict? Could I create a compelling protagonist that could grow out of the comforts of silence?
I am not talking about plot, mostly, I am referring to atmosphere and setting (no, not a “marooned on a island” story). I have a character in mind. Now all I need is a plot.