Coming up with ideas to write a book about has never really been a problem for me. However, I have been chatting with a few people over instagram about how this is a common problem for some writers when they are in a slump. Upon reflection of this, I realised that the reason why I haven’t had an issue with this is because of a few things which I do in my life for inspiration. I want to share these tips with you so that you may utilize them in times of need.
- Revamp An Old Story
Take for instance, in the middle of writing my current book I read an article which stuck with me for some reason. In the middle of studying my head popped up and I realised that that article gave me an idea of a plot line for a book I had started years ago. It then evolved in my mind into something magical which I cannot wait to start once I finish this one I am working on. What I have done is written all my ideas for my next book down so I do not forget.
- Subscribe to News Sites or Archaeological Sites
I suggest you search and subscribe to news websites such as The Age or The Guardian as they have all sorts of stories ranging from everyday, crime, celebrity, literary and historical news. You never know what may come into your feed and strike up an idea, I certainly didn’t expect that article to.
There are many archaeological sites have monthly magazines which you can subscribe to which gives you access to the latest scholarly articles about the most recent historical finds and developments in thought.
- Learn New Things
History gives me so much inspiration, if you hadn’t noticed from my ‘The Library’ section where I put all of my historical research that I do for books. I use elements of ancient and modern historical societies to create a realistic and complex world.
Sometimes if I am experiencing writer’s block I go to the library or book store and search in the history section to pick up whatever strikes my fancy. For instance, the last time I did this I bought a book all about Vikings. Reading it has made my mind tingle with excitement and ideas.
If you are searching for ideas and don’t know what historical topics suit you. Go to my The Library section, but be warned I add to it when I can and so far there is only Ancient Mayan information on there. Soon I will be starting an Ancient Rome series and after that I will post up my Vikings research.
- Follow Authors on Social Media
Anne Rice is very active on Facebook and posts up everything from the latest news, books she likes, historical discoveries and talks about general writing questions. The pre historical article I mentioned above came from her page!
Not only this, but on my instagram I post up pictures which are inspiring me today and which influence my writing. You never know which one of these pictures I post may stir something in you as well.
- Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are good to get you started on a story and they should be used to hone in your skills and to give you triggers to spark other ideas. Whenever you are struggling to find an idea try one of these if nothing else helps.
You can find these on google by simply typing ‘writing prompts’. There is so much out there on this you will find ample inspiration. Famous Australian Children's Author Andy Griffiths said to me that he practices writing 5 minutes everyday (apart from writing his books) and choses a random topic as prompt. From doing that you learn to write quickly and succinctly, as well as trigger ideas.
I also suggest following these people on instagram as they post up writing prompts almost daily:
@vanessacarnevale and @everythingonpaperisperfect
- Try a New Writing Style
If an idea for an entire book is daunting, try something else like writing poetry. This will help you in triggering ideas, as you will need to keep your thinking cap on to create short succinct little poems.
You can also try writing in another style altogether! Why don’t you try writing a short story, a play or even a screenplay? By doing this you are not only letting yourself create in a different way but leaving new skills you can employ later.
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- Try a New Sport
- Travel Widely
I based a story on Vienna in Austria as I found the place awe-inspiring.
- Talk to People About Life
I hope that this helps you in generating ideas for your next book or project. As you see I utilise all of them pretty much, except I haven't tried fencing or archery yet- but I will!
Let me know what you think and if you have ever used this before?