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Friday, 1 June 2018

10 Inspirational Ideas for Writers by Wendy H. Jones


If you are reading this blog them I can assume two things

1. You're a writer
2. You're looking for inspiration.

There's another saying, attributed to Thomas Edison, that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Those of us enjoying the sweltering summer sun may have got the perspiration part cracked, but that all important 1% seems so elusive. 

I am a crime writer and I find that inspiration leaps out from everywhere. I see a body dump around every bush and out every hotel room window. I appreciate you may not be writing crime, but the same can be said of any genre. Without further ado, here are my top 10 tips for finding inspiration for your writing

1. Observe everything, and I mean everything. 

2. Listen to those around you. I'm not suggesting you become a voyeur, or are a descendent of the original nosy parker, but listen in. Snatches of conversation can become the focus of a whole scene in  book. 

3. Drink coffee, or tea, or anything else that takes you to a cafe. These are the perfect place for trying out tips 1 and 2. Examples
  • Crime - Are the couple at the next table, deep in conversation plotting the perfect murder? 
  • Romance - Have the elderly couple at the next able been married for 60 years today? Or have they recently met on an internet dating site and are meeting for the first time in real life?
  • Relationship advice - are the couple at the next table discussing a divorce? have they just come fresh from marriage guidance
  • Newspaper article - The importance of coffee shops in developing the craft of writing (I've got first dibs on writing that article)
4. Watch your pet. How do they conduct their lives. Is there an idiosyncrasy about them that could be used in an animal in your book.

5. Read a newspaper, especially a local one. Is there a story in there that could spark your imagination. 

6. Grab a book. Any book. Turn to
  • Page 5, third line, fourth word.
  • Page 21, seventh line, second word.
  • Page 101, bottom line, fourth word. 
Use these words in your manuscript. Think of a scene where all the words can be used

7. Go for a walk. Let your mind take over. Is their anything that can be used in a book? 

8. Drink a nice cold glass of lemonade. How does it make you feel? How would it make your character feel? Would they like lemonade or would a crisp chardonnay be their cooling drink of choice? How does their drink choice shape their character? Is this out of character for them?

9. Visit a local tourist attraction. How could you work this into your book?

10. As the More Than Writers means the contributors to the blog are all Christians, my last tip is pick up the bible. It's chock full of ideas that you can use to shape a scene, chapter or even a whole novel. That works even if you re not a Christian.

Please share in the comments any tips you have for finding inspiration. We need all the help when can get as writers. 



Wendy H Jones, President of the Scottish Association of Writers, is the Amazon Number 1 best-selling author of the award winning DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her first Young Adult Mystery, The Dagger’s Curse was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers Choice Award. She is also an international public speaker, and runs conferences and workshops on writing, motivation and marketing. Wendy is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival. She is also the webmaster for the Association of Christian Writers and one of the editors of their Lent and Christmas Anthologies.

1 comment:

  1. I had to do number 6 just to see what happened. I have 'the' and 'part' and 'she' which seem a bit boring. But I guess if I'd got 'aardvark', 'curly kale' and 'transmogrification' I would have been complaining more.

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