If you want to write a novel, and aren’t sure how to get started, I gave you some ideas in this blog post,
How to Write A Book When You’re Not Sure What You Want to Write | Write a Book: Just Write A Book Blog:
“Use the News for Inspiration
Years ago, when I subscribed to a couple of daily papers, I’d clip anything which gave me an idea for an article, an essay, or a book. I had a filing cabinet crammed with clippings.
These days, I still clip, and still get inspired, but I use EagleFiler. (If you use Windows, OneNote is useful.)
You can use news stories to provide inspiration for many books.”
I’ve been coaching writers on finding ideas for their books; I’ll share what’s worked for them.
1. (Fiction) Get inspiration from character traits
Think about someone you know well. What’s their primary character trait? Maybe you know someone who’s a worrier (the sky is falling), or a girly girl (saving for a boob job), or a daredevil (base jumper).
Create a character with that primary trait. Let’s say the girly girl. What would be the worst job in the world for her? Let’s say that for whatever reasons, she needs to go into the army, or become a nunâ€¦
You could build an entire plot from that.
2. (Fiction) Get inspiration from history
You need to enjoy history for this one, but you don’t need to be a huge history buff.
Think of an historical character. Let’s say: Captain Cook (a hero of mine), or Cleopatra, or Anne Boleyn.
Look them up on Wikipedia.
How would you describe Cleopatra? Write a short description.
Now transplant Cleo to our current era — or to any other era. She’s a clever, strong woman, with a rich inheritance. Who are her enemies? Who would try to use her? What goals would she have?
3. (Fiction) Get inspiration from a book
Consider Scarlett from Gone With the Wind, or Sherlock Holmes. Countless femme fatales and detectives have been modeled on those two characters.
“Fan fiction” has a dubious reputation, but it worked for EL James and her Fifty Shades trilogy, which was modeled on the Twilight books.
Take a character you love from a book, and do your own interpretation of the character. I wouldn’t write fan fiction; you can, if you wish. Don’t copy, of course. Take whatever appeals to you most from a character, and create your own character.
4. Get inspiration from the news
What’s in the news?
I just checked our local news, and several stories would work as novel starters. (One story was about a young girl who’d been missing for three days, and was found hundreds of miles away, another was a story about a shark attack.)
You’ll find hundreds of news stories which can inspire a novel. Forget the details of the story, ask yourself why you find it interesting. What emotions does it arose in you? How could you use those emotions in a novel?
Write five first lines for each story, then choose one, and write six paragraphs. You may well be inspired to continue… s
The above three methods are fun. Use them, and become inspired to write your own novel.
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