The Cave Path

This photo, from really sparks the imagination. It presents a fabulous setting for an adventure, sci-fi or fantasy story, with a multitude of directions in which to wander.

At first glance, the bright spot appears to the the entrance to the cave, the way out. But what if it isn’t? What if it is the deepest part of the cave? What would cause such brilliance in a lightless environment? What dangers would explorers encounter if they enter that final chamber?

Who built the road on the cave floor? What is it used for? The scale here is difficult to determine, for we have no true frame of reference. The pathway could be merely a narrow ribbon, or a fairly wide roadway. Is it there simply to lure explorers into the depths of the cavern? What was it used for? Is it inanimate, or is it perhaps alive in some way?

The light spot in the dark slash on the left could be a half-hidden face, lurkning in the ebony shadows. Who might it be? Watching for what? For whom?

Now look deeper. Shift persepctive. What if this is the throat or esophagus of a living being and just appears to be a cave? What then awaits in that blaze of light? Is that the stomach, or the throat opening?

Cave photos are rich sources for otherworldly settings, as well as fodder for horror and adventure stories that will make you leave the lights on all night.

Susan Tuttle

Comments? Your story/setting ideas from this photo…

I Recommend:  206 Bones, by Kathy Reichs. Only Kathy Reichs can twist a plot in suchnefarious ways. If you haven’t read any of the Temperance Brennan books, start with #1 (Deja Dead) and take them in order. But leave the lights on at night…

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.