Where to get inspiration. How to gather inspiration, how to use inspiration that you see in the world and adapt it to things in your story.
Some writing prompts that might help you get out of writer’s block or just help to inspire you. Some will give you an idea of how to adapt inspiration that you see in the world.
Find music that either speaks to your soul because of the instrument or because of the words. Reading poetry and listening to beautiful poetry at the same time, reading as you sit in a coffee shop can help you start to write.
People watching is so much fun. You can just have your computer there or a notepad and imagine what their lives are like. Make a story for them. This can be a great exercise that will really help you. Writing anything down and not thinking about it so hard will help more thoughts to come and flow freely. You have to be less hard on yourself. Think of the things that matter the most. What motivates people. It is especially important in writing villains or any other type of character. What is their motivation?
Ask yourself some questions like: do you believe? do you believe in fate? do you believe in aliens? do you believe in soulmates? the creation of the universe? life after death? (this doesn’t have to be religious). Just explore really deeper level things that you don’t have answers to and run with it. Say I believe this because or I don’t believe this because and you can write it from your own perspective. Also write from the perspective that you don’t believe in. Explore to expand your mind kind of exercises. Getting into someone else’s head. It can be a stepping stone for understanding the characters you are putting in your story line.
Here are some more writing prompts. You can be inspired by different things like a movie not because of the plot or specifically a character but the feel that it gives you. You can get inspiration from a sentence in the script. That sentence can bring up different questions for you and it can kind of spark something for you. How would you use that sentence to write a different set of experiences for the characters or a different outcome than you saw in the movie.
Pinterest is an amazing place to find poetry or images that can inspire you and give you a story idea. Making up a story on the spot when you see an inspirational picture or hear an inspirational quote or poem is a great way to give your mind a boost with beginning to write. Ask yourself these questions: what happened when the artist or writer created this image or these words? what happened when the shutter closed? what was happening in your artists life in that moment? what made them want to create? what made them snap the picture? (it can be dark, it could be a time of happiness, it could be the last time they took a photo of a loved one before they died). You can take your story to so many different places.
Some writers ideas randomly come to them and they write them down in a notebook and start creating subplots, weaving everything together to make a well connected story. For other writers coming up with story ideas can actually be really tough. Your story ideas need to be original. Avoid copying other writers and their plot lines.
It is worth brainstorming some new ideas you may be thinking. Determine what makes your story unique and different. It is the spin that you put on all of those little subplots that make the relationships and connections between your characters stand out are actually really important. Add your own twist to the story.
Here are 7 tips for coming up with story ideas for your book.
1) Determine what genre you want to write in.
2) Determine your audience: how old will your readers be EX: children, young adults, new adults, adults.
- If your main characters are 12 years old and younger that you are technically writing a children’s book.
- If your characters are ages 13 through 18 think high school age then you are writing a young adult book.
- If your characters are 19 through 30 think more college age coming into being an adult, then you’re writing a new adult book.
- If your characters are older than 30 then you are probably writing an adult book.
Remember that by determining your audience you are setting up the tone and the theme for the book you’re going to write.
3) Your book can have more than one theme, just like you can have more than one plot. You can have sub themes, just make sure you have one major theme and one major plot. Then you can add in subplots and sub-themes to keep your story from falling flat.
4) Brainstorm now that you have your genre, target audience, and theme. Most likely you have already had a few ideas that have been floating around in your head that you’ve jotted down in a notebook somewhere. If not that is okay, you can start from scratch. Grab a large piece of paper and write your main theme in the center with a large circle around it. Underneath the theme you can write in smaller letters what challenge your main character is going to have to face and overcome. If you don’t know what challenge yet that is okay. Sometimes it is actually easier to brainstorm how you want your book to end and then work backwards to craft your story. Draw branches out from that main circle like a tree and start writing down any ideas that come to mind for your story, good or bad. Write every idea down on this large sheet of paper even if they don’t make sense at the time you are brainstorming. You may be surprised how later some of those nonsense ideas can actually be added into your story or reworked a little bit to add more depth to your plot or a subplot and it actually ends up really helping you out. There is no such thing as a bad idea.
5) Use resources. The writers idea thesaurus by Fred white gives you endless ideas at your fingertips. It can be fun to open up the writers idea thesaurus to a random page and just read one of the random ideas that’s in that book. Don’t use exactly what’s written on the page but sometimes it can give you a spark of inspiration.
6) Use your ideas to make a rough outline. In another post there is a great way to outline your book ideas.
7) Just begin writing even if it’s terrible, even if your story doesn’t fully make sense to you just yet. The writing process is all about discovering your story. You as the writer take yourself on a journey to discover your story’s potential. You discover your story as you write. The first draft is for your eyes only anyway. Write, have fun and enjoy the process as your story unfolds.