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Five Ways For Writers to Get Inspired to Write a Book

In order to create a fictional work, a writer must be inspired. But where does inspiration come from? Waiting for a good idea to appear can be a long and futile process. Sometimes inspiration must be actively pursued. Here are some tips for finding inspiration through reading, travel, and even dreams.

Getting inspired is the first step toward beginning a novel.  But a novel cannot be written unless the author comes up with an idea, preferably a good and unique one.  Ideas do not always just appear by magic.  Usually, they are a product of experience, thought, and research.  Here are some ways to actively search for inspiring novel ideas:

Draw Inspiration From Life Experience

Experience can be the best teacher.  Memories, both good and bad, can be the source of inspiration for a fictional novel as well as an autobiography.  Everyone comes with a storehouse of memories which can be altered and developed into fictional stories.  To draw inspiration from memories, jot down some memories without thinking about them.  Then read what you have written and make a fictional spin-off by making the goal larger than life. 

Newspapers and Magazines can be a Source for Story Ideas 

Newspapers and magazines can be a source of inspiration.  News stories of current events and unusual pictures can often spark the imagination and encourage a story to develop.  World and local situations can become the starting point for a story where individual characters react or take action against a natural disaster or other such event.  A strong fictional character can be created from a war or emerge from a tornado or earthquake.  For tips on how to create a strong fictional character: 

Travel Sparks Inspiration

A good vacation, even a short one, can get the creative juices flowing.  Seeing new sights and experiencing something out of the ordinary can give a writer a new perspective and outlook.  Travel creates opportunity for finding new settings which in turn may spark ideas for stories that can only arise from that particular setting.  For example, Tony Hillerman's Navajo books would not be the same if he had not explored and used his knowledge of the Southwest to write his stories. 

Reading Fiction for Inspiration

Reading can inspire new thoughts and ideas.  A careful study of the classics gives an overview of themes and emotions which are timeless.  Reading contemporary fiction can introduce writers to modern dilemmas.  Reading broades the mind and helps set the mood for a new story to develop. 

Dreams Can be a Source for Inspiration

Vivid dreams can also become a source for inspiration. For years, writers have been influenced by dreams, some of which have become  iterary mastepieces. Dreams should be written down soon after waking.  Not all dreams make good stories, but many of them can provide inspiration from which a better story can be developed in the waking state. 

Good writing follows Thomas Edison's wise words, "Of inspiration one percent; of perspiration, ninety nine."  Discovering a great idea is only the beginning. In order to develop that idea, a writer must devote a certain amount of daily time to writing by developing a daily schedule.  

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Comments (1)

Great article Vickie. I had a dream years ago and it was the entire storyline for a novel. I haven't written it yet, but hope to one of these days.