There is so much great art out there. I remember, as a kid, sketching things and wishing I could draw better. As fate would have it, I wrote more than I sketched but now, you just enter a term like "dragon knight fire" and you get great stuff like this.
It's 2017, January 1st. During break, I finished my first draft of Bomoki's Gate. I also got really torn up about something that happened during writing. Without spoilers, I'm going to tell you that I had to let one of my favorite characters die. Except, it felt like I murdered one of my best friends. When I write, I start with a loose and very high level outline. I was explaining this to my daughter last night.
"I decide something like: I want to tell the story of how Malcor becomes a paladin. Having decided that, I begin to sketch in the main pieces. I want an epic battle. But, it wouldn't be very paladin like to just go out and start picking fights hoping one becomes epic. So, you have to set your sights on these things and fill them in."
When writing, I will often hear my muse and find I have written my characters into fights or situations that have absolutely nothing to do with my high level outline. In such circumstances, I ask that character, "What would you do in this circumstance?" Over the holiday break, one of them answered me back: I would sacrifice my life to save the group, and advance Tiamat's will.
It hurt to write that. But, if there is no consequence or threat, then no matter the plot, or how well-written, Survivor Bias (the main character will pull through and win) replaces all that other good and the story itself becomes unbelievable. When my Facebook feed is full of "F#&! You 2016! Quit Killing People" memes, I find that New Year's gave me pause for reflection for the first character I killed in my writing that I loved. Even though that was 2 weeks ago, I still feel bad about it. Weird how emotional this stuff gets huh?