Maybe you're starting to feel like your writing well has run dry. You've got the perfect title, but no content to fill it with. Or maybe you started writing your book and can't seem to get past chapter one. It's time for some inspiration! Check out these 9 steps that will keep your imagination flowing, and give you endless ideas for new stories!
Make a list of your favorite books and movies. What made them so great? Is there something you liked in particular that could inspire an idea for your own writing or story?
Join a community like Reddit (r/writingprompts) to get ideas from fellow writers and readers. These prompts can be inspiring and offer great ideas. I also provide writing programs to help, such as Journal Prompts for Writers, and a workshop for How to Build a Dynamic Character.
Take a day off from writing to do something else you enjoy. Go for a walk or read your favorite book! Let your mind wander as it tackles another task, and see if interesting thoughts pop up about stories to tell. If they don't at first, keep them in mind and come back another day.
Try writing a story from the perspective of someone with an opposite job or responsibilities than you have now. You could be a garbage man instead of a doctor; put yourself in their shoes to see how they might experience your own world. This is great for building characters that have a fresh perspective.
Check out your local bookstore and take notes of sections that interest you. Then head to the library or a used bookshop and see what they have in those genres. You never know when inspiration will strike! If nothing grabs hold, research new authors who write similar styles to try something different from what you normally enjoy.
Write what your characters want and then throw roadblocks in their way to keep them from getting it! This is a great trick for building conflict that can drive the plot forward. It's also helpful if you're stuck on ideas after writing chapter one - go back to an earlier point where they didn't get what they wanted and try to fix it.
Take a look at your writing notebook or document files on your computer. If you've been jotting down ideas as you think of them for future use, check if anything sparks inspiration now! You can also go back through old work that didn't make it to your final draft or write a prequel for an old story.
Try writing in the third-person point of view instead of the first-person if you normally use the latter. This will give you different insights into events and let you explore characters that might be more difficult from another perspective. You can also go all-out and try writing in a second-person point of view where you refer to the main character as "you" throughout. Think of how that might give a reader more insight into what's going on!
People watch! Go to a cafe, bookstore, library, park, or restaurant and sit and watch the people pass by. If you can, listen in on some conversations. You'll be amazed at what characters you'll discover and the stories you'll find.
I've found that by simply giving myself permission to write about anything I want, whenever I want, I am more likely to just sit down and start writing. This has also opened me up to the idea of using this blog as a place for creative expression. You can get inspiration from just about anywhere! The key is making sure you give yourself the time and space (or permission) to explore your creativity. What's your favorite way to find inspiration?
Find more writing advice from author Kim Bartosch by visiting her blog Kim's Book Reviews and Writing Aha's. Kim's debut young adult novel, ASK THE GIRL, is The Haunting of Hill House meets The Lovely Bones in this evocative and mind-bending psychological thriller following three teen girls solving a treacherous murder.