Getting inspiration for writing a novel

Where, and how, do you find inspiration to write? Do you wait for it come to you out of the blue, or do you actively seek it? Here are some thoughts for you.



Travel not only broadens the mind it stimulates it. Whether you travel for work or pleasure soak up everything you see and hear. Record it digitally or in a notebook. How you record it doesn’t matter, just be sure to make and keep a record. No matter how big or small whatever you record it might be the inspiration for your next novel. Your notes might include a lightbulb  moment without you realising it.

light bulb moment.gif

Then when you need inspiration you can revisit your records and let your imagination run riot.

And of course, the place you travel to doesn’t have to be exotic or far-flung for you to find something worth recording. You might find the gem of an idea in a market in Mumbai, or in a village in Madagascar that is stuck in a lifestyle from yesteryear. But you could just as easily find inspiration gazing out onto the runways at Heathrow Airport. Or watching frustrated pedestrians fighting their way down into the London Underground.

People watch.


If you have a job then seek inspiration from the people you meet through that work. This may be at your workplace, travelling for your job, or simply getting to and from work.

People are a rich vein to be mined. When you’re in a boring meeting study everybody in the room and let your imagination run wild. Read people’s faces, eye movement, and body language. Imagine intrigue between various people there. Better still—for romance writers—look for or imagine signs of romantic interest.

But don’t restrict yourself to work. Study people you meet when out and about, or at sports and hobbies. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears attuned to words and sounds around you—even at social events, clubs, community centres, or supermarkets. Note people’s personal interaction, wherever they are and however old they may be.

Take Random Notes

Seek inspiration from the real world as well as from fiction. Don’t forget truth can be stranger than fiction. Take random notes. When you’re looking for inspiration what may have seemed rubbish or mundane at the time could suddenly spark the very thought/idea you need.


Talk to people

Wherever you are talk to people. Talk about their lives, their work, their past, their experiences. They may well have been to places, met people, and seen things that you haven’t. In amongst all the everyday dross, you hear about from other people there may be a single nugget that is all you need to inspire you.

And even if their real life experiences don’t sound exciting or exotic there may be something that will send your mind off in another direction or trigger a new thought.

Read other writers’ work

Read and analyse the work of other authors in your genre, famous and not so famous. Think how you might have written some of their work differently. Let it send you off down a different road to the one they travelled.

Check the news and the internet

Scour the newspapers, listen to the radio, surf the net. Think how real life stories can be adapted and embellished to suit your writing. Try to see the comedy and romance in everything.


Draw on your own experience

Don’t be afraid to draw on your own real life experiences and those of friends and families. As you get older so your wealth of knowledge increases. The only problem as a Senior/Baby Boomer is remembering it.

WHO OR WHAT inspires you?


Let me know what avenues I have failed to explore here. Maybe I can use your input to help me with the sequel once ‘Not too Old for Love’ is published.

End of post.



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