You don’t write to make a story…you write to tell a story that already exists…
Camp NaNoWriMo has already begun for some (depending on where you live in the world and if you’re actually participating…) You may find yourself in a little predicament. “I want to write a novel but I have no idea what I’m going to write about!” Where do all those amazing authors that you love come up with all of these amazing ideas?
Well I’m here to give you an answer…
I don’t know. (Hey, I didn’t say it was the answer you were looking for) I’m not one of those authors. But I can give you some ideas to try out. The thing is, everyone is different and the same inspiration technique isn’t going to work for everyone. My books come from several different sources of inspiration. I can always write something, I don’t get Writer’s Block in the sense that I can’t write anything but I can get it on one specific project and then I know it’s time to flip things in a different direction. I cannot write something I’m not passionate about. And my best guess is…you might not be able to either.
Inspiration Tip #1: Dreams and Nightmares
Dreams and Nightmares are often where my stories come from. I start with the actual dream/nightmare and then transform it into a story that I am drawn into. (A great coping mechanism for nightmares. That’s how I became a writer.) The dream state can be a strange experience and difficult to write so sometimes it’s easier to just write the words that best describe it without telling the story (dreams are not always in order) and even draw some things if that is easier for you. After that you have just created a brainstorm. Now go add onto it until you get that awesome story idea!
Inspiration Tip #2: Images, Art, and Photography
“A picture is worth a thousand words“
This is a saying that is all too true but a writer can make a picture say 50k words or maybe even 100k words. It’s up to you.
Grab a camera and go take some random shots of people walking around at the mall, birds in a tree, trails and flowers in the park, anyplace you think could have some great potential. Then look at the pictures. Does one jump out at you? Use it, look at it, and write words that come to your mind. Can’t think of anything else? Go get something to eat, drink, use the restroom and come back to the photograph and see what else you can think of.
If a camera isn’t really what you had in mind, look at some art. For example my favorite artist is Thomas Kinkade. I’d love to live in one of those beautiful paintings of his and I’m sure I could come up with a whole book someday after studying his paintings ❤
Another great place to look besides your camera or favorite artists is Deviant art. The graphic art is absolutely amazing and has a really great medium for that imaginative quality to place you in the world of writing.
Inspiration Tip #3: Meditate, Walk Around, Take a Shower
This inspiration tip may have thrown you off guard but you’d be surprised what you can come up with by relaxing or even just doing regular daily activities. I’ve been inspired by watching an ant climb a rock, and flower beginning to bud, making tea, sitting in Starbucks (I know, writers love coffee shops), and yes, taking a shower. Let the story come to you. It’s worth a try.
Inspiration Tip #4: You know what you know…
Write about an experience you’ve had, even if it’s just a paragraph. Have you thought about how you wish you could go back in time and do things differently? Change the story to that. Now imagine that it didn’t happen to you, but to fictional characters. Wow, now you have a short story about someone else that you just wrote. Can you turn it into a novel? I dare you 😉
Inspiration Tip #5: I NEED a formula for this…
There isn’t an x+y=50k word novel formula that you can just figure out but I have something that might help you come up with an idea.
1. Pick something you love
2. Find a picture that you love about number 1
3. Write an experience you’ve had with number 1
4. Choose a genre you love to read or is best for you to write
5. Choose something you hate or that scares you.
6. Choose a place you want to be.
7. Choose a place you don’t want to be
Now you have a sort of formula for coming up with a story idea, the good and evil elements basically.
I need more help: some extra resources to help you come up with a novel idea
If you need a little bit more help after this blog post, I’m not going to discourage you from following your dream of writing a novel. But I need to get some sleep, so instead, I’m going to direct you to some other places (including a video I posted last year) that can hopefully help you reach your goal.
my YouTube Vlog post Idea: How to Write a Fiction Novel
The Write Club channel
Those Writer Girls channel
Good Luck and Happy Writing ❤