Don’t you hate that feeling when you’re staring at your paper or your screen and you just can’t think of anything to write? There are endless amount of ways where you can gain inspiration when getting ideas for a good story. This post will talk about how I get my motivation and many diverse ways you can get yours too.
The many different ways I go about for inspiration it’s quite easy if you have a very vivid imagination. Here are my top ten picks for expanding your mind:
1. Daydreaming: I like to sit - no matter where I am - and just stare into space. Yes, people might see a weird person just staring at air, but they have no idea what goes on in my head. It’s like a whole new universe just opened up and I’m the creator. I like to imagine different scenarios for myself. I like to put them in situations to see how they’d react and what actions they’d do. Thinking about it continuously can give you so many new ideas and visualisation is one of the best ways you can gain inspiration for a story.
Just give it try right now. Depending on your preference, – whether you like the quiet or a bit of noise – just sit down and clear your mind of any worries that you have. Picture a character you’d like to put into a story, or picture someone you know and put them in any kind of chaotic situation that pleases you. Ask yourself questions. What would that person do? How would they react? How are they feeling being put into this very situation? Play it in your head as if you’re watching a movie. Use your senses around you and imagine being in that moment. Write them down if you must so you can remember them.
2.Reading books: Reading lots and lots of books is undeniably another way to gain inspiration. Read books that are the genre of what you want to write about. Look at how the author portrays their characters. Look at the dialogue and the details of the story. Does it grab your attention? Is there anything that jumps out at you when you read the story?
For me, I like to read lots of supernatural themed books. I look at how the author creates their own characters with their own personality as if it’s a completely new person stuck in a world full of paranormal happenings. I look at the details that bring us closer to the character and I look at how the little details in the words lets us imagine a world completely different from our own. I’m against plagiarism, so if you want to write a story, don’t copy it from something you read. You can draw inspiration, however. Look at how the author writes. Are there lots of descriptive words or are there fewer ones? For example Lord of the Rings is packed with descriptive words, it tells us everything of the world that J.R.R.Tolkien created and it gives us an extremely vivid visualisation of Middle Earth.
3. Dreams: For those that remember their dreams can also achieve inspiration for writing. Get yourself a dream journal and every time you wake up, write it down before you forget. I always hop on my laptop – yes, the screen can be blinding when first waking up - and I have a special folder where I write down the dreams that I remember. One dream actually helped me get inspiration for a paranormal book series I’m making. You can read back over your dreams to see if anything jumps out at you.
4. Music: Listening to music makes my brain go wild! Whenever you listen to songs, don’t you always just sit back and imagine a whole new world? Loud music gets me distracted and in my case I love listening to soft piano music or movie soundtracks to get my mind going.
5. Life Experience: This is a brilliant way for getting new ideas. Instead of being in familiar surroundings, go somewhere you’ve never been before. Do something you’ve never done or always wanted to. This is a sure way of getting story ideas and great locations for your stories. Look at your own life, yourself and the people around you. Is there anything that you want to write about?
6. Senses: I’ve put this separate from Life Experience, though both can correlate with each other. Using all five of your senses – hear, smell, touch, taste and sight – you can create yourself a world of your own for your own locations. Just imagine being your character, you’ll feel what they feel, you’ll see what they see, you’ll touch what they touch, you’ll hear what they hear and you’ll smell what they do. Write them down and you could be at the start of creating and expanding your own story’s universe!
7. Movies/TV Shows: Watching any kind of Movie or TV Show can get anyone’s mind reeling with ideas. Watch new movies and TV Show’s that you haven’t seen before. Watch something that is specific to your genre of writing. I was watching a movie the other day called ‘Midnight in Paris’. It stars Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams. The story is about a man who goes to Paris with his fiancé. He’s a screenwriter and is having trouble writing his first novel. He is finding that he lacks the inspiration and falls in love with the 1920’s era of Paris. Since being in Paris, every day at midnight, Owen’s character mysteriously finds himself in 1920’s Paris; where he meets his most favourite and most influential authors. There he finds his inspiration into writing and I urge all writers to actually watch this movie and see it for yourself. It’s really beautiful and it really makes you think. What would you do if you saw your most favourite author?
8. History: Go to the library and look up some of your favourite parts of history. Go on the internet and watch documentaries. It’s amazing how some of our Earth’s history can inspire a writer to think up amazing ideas. It’s also great for locations in your story as well as what the people were like back in the days. My favourite is Egyptian history; it’s so vast and really exciting.
9. Writing Groups: Join a writing group. Whether it is on the internet or in person. You’ll find that other people have the same writing style as you do or different styles altogether. You can all brainstorm together various ideas and you may even find something which you’ve never even thought about! I heard that J.K.Rowling and J.R.R.Tolkien were in the same writers group. I’m not sure how true this is, so I’m not stating it as a fact.
10. Writing Journal: Get any kind of exercise book. I have a large one with over 200 pages. Anytime you have a story idea or any kind of idea at all, just jot it down and get back to it later. I have over 15 pages of ideas, which progressed into storylines.
I hope this has been helpful to you all and that you get some ideas for how you can go about your own inspiration. If the ideas don’t come to you, don’t fret. It takes time and you need these steps in order to expand your imagination. It’s amazing that anything we do can give us inspiration; you just have to look deeper in order to find it. Keep writing, everyone!
Feel free to write down below ways YOU get your inspiration. By working together we can all help each other out with various techniques of expanding our imagination.