Where do you find your inspiration to write fiction? As this summer’s Book Bound Writers’ Retreat hoves into view, we thought we’d take a moment to shine a spotlight on some of the most unexpected sources of inspiration.
Walk It Out
Or knit, or cycle, colour in or do yoga…Have you ever sat in front of a laptop, beating your brow against the desk, wringing your hands as you wait for inspiration to strike? Don’t. Go for a walk instead. Your knotty plot problem will magically ease itself undone as you clock up the miles. Enjoy any activity that is meditative* and allows your mind to empty.
* We have just such an activity on our retreat, and it’s one of our most popular sessions.
The Real World
I often turn to non-fiction books when I’m looking for inspiration for a novel or short story. In fact, the best non-fiction references are usually children’s books – short, succinct, highly illustrated and accessible.
An alternative to this are the real-life stories that flood our brains on a daily basis. Whenever a news article piques my interest, I bookmark it. If it makes me smile, I email it to myself. And if it has a killer headline, I’m always tempted to share it on Facebook with a status update of, ‘Someone HAS to turn this into a novel!’
Maybe that someone should be you…
Other People’s Books
The more you read, the better you write. It really is that simple. There’s no shame in hoovering up other people’s novels, pausing to analyse what works, highlighting phrases that make your heart sing. That next beautiful sentence could be yours, if you do your homework. Just read.
Get out there and meet people. The more you can connect, the more connection you’ll have with your writing. We recommend SCBWI, London Book Fair, Byte The Book and – of course! – the Book Bound Writers Retreat. You can also subscribe to publishing news via The Bookseller and Book Brunch.
And here are some web links
Looking for more lateral creative inspiration? We really recommend these sites:
If you are looking for both exercise and inspiring history, join Ken on a guided walking tours of London. This is the most research (and fun!) you can cram into an afternoon, if you aspire to be the next Hilary Mantel.
Good Reads is a great tool for finding books that other people love and want to recommend. One day, someone might recommend yours.
Do you have any tips and links to recommend?
Quick! There are just a few places left on our next writers’ retreat. You can go here to snap up a place, 17-19 June.