First off, for those who have been listening to my posts, I’m sorry there is no audio recording this week. So you’ll have to read it instead. I’ll be back recording next week though!
The world is rich with ideas for writing. All you need is to know where to look. Here are three simple ideas you can use to get the inspiration you need.
Pinterest is an amazing tool for writers. I can’t stress this enough. If you haven’t already opened an account, do it. Like right now. If you have an account but don’t have a writing board, go do it. Here’s the link.
The reason Pinterest is so useful for a writer is because it gives you the ability to organize all of your ideas. You can create boards (like Writing), then break it down into more specific boards like the four I have listed below.
Every person has a unique appearance (well except for identical twins). Their nose, chin, hair, tilt of the eyes. Different cultures have different features that are more or less prominent, and the characters in your stories should reflect that. When it comes to building your cast, look up pictures of people to give you ideas.
Do a quick search using things like, gender, age, and specific feature followed by face/headshot (i.e. old man short hair, woman freckles face). This will give you hundreds of people with unique features. The grizzled old sailor, the naïve princess, the handsome scoundrel, or the dreaded evil guy. You can find everything you need to inspire your next character and keep track of it all in one place.
I’ve had a lot of fun finding bizarre, wild, and adorable creatures to add into my world. Artists who are a million times more creative than me have drawn creatures and monsters that I couldn’t begin to dream of, but that could fit in my story.
I’m not saying to rip off someone else’s creativity and directly insert their creature into your story. Use what you find to expand what is possible and how you might combine features to create magical creatures.
Caves, valley’s, trees, lakes, and mountains are just a few of the majesties our world has to offer. Each one more diverse, strange and unique than the next. Search the world we live in to bring your imaginary world to life, let it spark your imagination and run wild with it. But if you run out of places on earth to check out no worries, amazing artists have you covered.
Whenever I’m working on a specific aspect of my writing and I need some guidance I just pull up google and type in what I’m looking for. Thankfully, even when I find helpful articles, or blogs, I can create a pin, using a chrome extension, and save it on my Pinterest board to reference later. My writing group and I created a shared writing board for all the material we use in our weekly meetings.
Learn from the best. Find authors that you love, drink in their words often, reread the stories that inspire you. Then find a good friend and have a Spartan Smackdown session. Pull out the elements of the greatest stories, combine then, change them, mold and reshape them into something that is new, something that yours. Up until this last month I hadn’t picked up a book in over a year, so it’s no surprise that I hadn’t made much progress on my own book.
So if you are experiencing writers block, go to your bookshelf, grab your favorite book, a nice fuzzy blanket, and fill your mind with words until you overflow.
This last week my buddy had the chance to go to Disneyland and was _______ (a word I can’t think of right now that’s similar to bummed, but not bummed since he was going to Disneyland) that he wasn’t able to work on his story.
Not sure if he took my advice but I told him to people watch. He was going to see a smorgasbord of possible characters for his book standing in lines right next to him. He could watch them talk with their friends, hear them laugh, listen to them complain, and look at their unique features.
I figured if he’s with other people who like to read or write he could even make a game of it by describing someone in writing terms and see who could guess the character first.
So what I’m saying is this. If you are tired of exploring the wonders of Pinterest, you have read to your heart’s content (for the day) go someplace public and watch people! It’ll be a blast I promise.
Similar to my own
“Read a thousand books and your words will flow like a river” – Virginia Woolf