Waddup Savi Crew!
With Camp NaNoWriMo less than three weeks away, I thought I’d offer some writing inspiration for those people out there who would like to participate but have no current WIPs (works in progress) and are struggling to come up with a new writing project.
So, where do writers get their inspiration for their stories? Here are five sources of inspiration:
1. Everyday life
People watching is an excellent pastime for an aspiring writer. Overheard conversations in a coffee shop or mall can become riveting dialogue between two characters in your novel. Many times I’ve been stumped with my writing and I’ll overhear a conversation that springs enough inspiration to resolve my writing block. Just remember not to use the real names of people or places involved. Please don’t give anyone a reason to sue you.
2. Television shows/movies
There is obvious inspiration here to borrow heavily from but for God’s sake don’t plagiarise anybody. For instance, what if The Golden Girls existed in 18th century England? Or perhaps the Friends gang lived in Vancouver instead of New York. Entirely different story! A nice game I like to play is taking two shows with polar opposite genres and swapping them out. Thus, neurotic sitcom, Frasier develops into a science fiction space opera.
3. Books we’ve read
Ella Enchanted, The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, etc.), Brightly Burning. Retelling stories are making a comeback. Using books we’ve read as inspiration to create new stories is nothing new. Sometimes it’s as simple as switching the genre. Feel free to play around with different variables, you’ll be surprised by what you end up with.
4. Real-life experiences
Were you a foster child? Write about it. Maybe you survived a traumatic event and would like to inspire others with your story? Document it. Do you have a distinctive talent, extraordinary family upbringing or unique perspective? Utilise it as a plot device or story idea. You will be amazed at the plethora of story ideas that can be expanded upon based on real-life experiences. After all, truth is stranger than fiction.
Present company included, some people have very vivid dreams which can be the foundation idea for a great story. But don’t forget to sleep with a pen and paper underneath your pillow. You won’t believe how many detailed dreams I’ve had—some full length movies even—that I’ve forgotten as soon as I woke up. And that can be frustrating especially when you can’t reproduce the same dream again—no matter how hard you try. At least, in my experience.
Wherever inspiration flows, a great story is bound to follow. Best of luck and hope to see all of you guys in Camp NaNoWriMo this April!
And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life!