So where do my novel ideas come from? Here are some of the top places where I find inspiration.
It’s a common enough question to get as a writer: how did you come up with that story idea? Everyone has a method, but I think writers have a way of thinking about things that envision possibilities that others may not see. Because I focus on historical fiction, though, there’s are a few main ways I tend to find inspiration:
1. Go To the Source
Historical fiction writers like history, as obvious as that probably seems to say. When I was in school it was my favorite subject and I even considered a minor in college in it (I was a few credits shy). So most of the time when I’m inspired by an idea, it frequently starts with reading a history book.
It can happen any time, but usually I tend to like to explore under-told stories in history and then think about the people who may have been involved and what their lives could have been like. That’s usually enough to spark an epic adventure backdrop and then I start to fill in the blanks with plot.
2. Art Inspires Other Art
There’s something about music (especially soundtracks) and amazing movies that has a tendency to stir my soul, but I’ve even been inspired to start a novel by looking at paintings and photographs. Visual art can act as a cue to get your mind thinking about the possibilities of the location and setting or the people pictured. Music tends to get my mind in a place where I come up with ideas based on emotions. And movies can get me excited about a theme or premise that I think could be fun to play with.
2. Get Into Nature
Whenever I need a creative reset, there are few things that help me as much as getting outdoors. The sun on my skin, the scents and sounds of nature, the serenity of it all–few things recharge my idea bank like nature can. Location can also just spark ideas out of the blue. Tell me you haven’t looked at a dark hallow in the woods or a hidden cove near the sand and thought of what could have existed or taken place there. So get outside and get some ideas flowing!
What are some ways that you come up with story ideas? Connect with me and let me know!