Quirky Quills: Six Strange Places Famous Writers Have Penned Their Epic Novels

Six people who needed odd but specific environments to create.

Krista Bennett
4 min readSep 21, 2023
“The Isolator,” Invented by Hugo Gernsback @ Wikimedia Commons, Free Media Repository

Many famous authors have reported finding inspiration in unexpected places. What is considered inspirational surroundings varies greatly from one writer to another. Creativity is a highly individualized process.

What may be inspiring for one writer might not work for another. Ultimately, the most inspirational surroundings for writing are those that help the writer tap into their creativity, focus, and unique voice.

Many eccentric personalities found quirky locations and situations to pen their works.

Following are six examples of the strangest I’ve found:

1. In a Cave.

Mark Twain wrote many works in a cave in Hannibal, Missouri, near his childhood home. The cave, originally known in the region as “McDowell’s Cave, was the inspiration for Twain’s “McDougal’s Cave,” which plays an important role in the novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

The cave extends approximately three miles, has four entrances, and 260 passages. Young Sam Clemens spent many days exploring the caverns and passages as a child. These childhood adventures would show up later…