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“Them’s Writing Words!”: 3 ways to gain inspiration for your next writing project

This is a guest post from author H.M. Clarke. We all know that getting another book out is one of the best book marketing tools there is, but sometimes finding inspiration to finish that story can be difficult. H.M. provides some great ways to help you get some writing inspiration to help you to finish that story and get your next book out.

Writing Inspiration

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they say something that sparks a story idea in your head?

(…then you miss the rest of the conversation because you are desperately trying to imprint the idea in your brain so you can get it down on paper at a later time…)

This tends to happen a lot to me and usually I can’t get to a piece of paper (or my phone) in time to get the idea, and the emotion behind it, down.

(…immediately grabbing your phone in mid-conversation can be seen as a little rude…)

I call this phenomenon ‘Writing Words’ – When you hear something that immediately sends your mind racing on story ideas and concepts. Many good books have been sparked into existence by a word or line in a conversation, or even from a song or a picture. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a good example of this:

“The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.” – From the essay, It All Began with a Picture, by C.S. Lewis

3 Ways To Get Writing Inspiration

Here are 3 ways that you can get inspiration, or tap into those ‘Writing Words’:

  1. From items and things in the world around you. Pictures, scenes, landscapes, songs, your favorite park bench…these can all be a catalyst for forming your next writing project. It’s just up to you to be aware of what is around you and see the potential. Just as C.S. Lewis did.
  2. From news articles. Newspapers, magazine articles, online news sites and television have always been a good source for soaking up story ideas. A social issue on illegal immigration in the Australian Press is what sparked the inspiration for my book The Enclave. Though whatever idea or theme attracts your attention, it needs to resonate with you, because if it doesn’t, the story will not have the emotional power behind it that you would like it to have.
  3. From the conversations and events that happen around you. Now we are back to where I started this article. Any conversation, whether one you’re involved with or overheard, can be a goldmine of ideas for stories in any genre. It’s just up you, the writer, to see their value and greedily use it to your writing advantage.

I gather ideas mainly using the 3 points above. Because of this I have a large collection of paper slips that get tucked into my idea book when I get home. I have been storing my ideas like this for years and have several notebooks full of stuff that I go back to when I need writing inspiration.

How do you find your ideas? Please share your thoughts in the comment’s section. I really would like to know what works for you.

H.M. Clarke is an Australian writer based in Ohio. She is the author of the Scifi novel, The Enclave, The Way to Freedom series and several paranormal novels. You can find out more about Hayley and her books at http://hmclarkeauthor.com/ and you can follow her on Twitter @HMClarkeauthor


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