Fantastic Book Ideas And Where To Find Them – 5 Ways To Up Your Inspiration Game
by L. E DeLano
Every author constantly finds themselves trapped in the hellish world of writing a book, editing a book, or searching for their next book.
Sometimes, you get lucky and the story finds you. But even when it does, it’s usually just a kernel of an idea, and needs some fleshing out. So what do you do when the creative font is running dry? Here are some strategies to help you find that elusive spark:
People watch. Go out to the mall or a fast food restaurant, visit a museum or a college campus, and just sit with a notebook. Watch people (and not in a creepy way, if you can help it – make it subtle). Invent stories about them – wild, fantastical back stories. Eavesdrop on dialogue and let it help you build the framework. There is no greater resource than human nature.
Speaking of nature – find some. Take a hike, or a slow and steady walk, but make it somewhere in the fresh air, or the rain or the snow, for that matter. Build your world, be it alien or domestic. What sort of people live here? And why? Why does this place look the way it does? What natural obstacles, disasters or points of great beauty can you use?
Watch a documentary. Find one about social injustice or alien visitors or great castles. Find a thread in the narration and build on it, take it to an opposing outcome or move what happened forward or back in time (or maybe to another world). History and media can be a valuable tool – use it!
Ask a young child to tell you a story. This one can be hit or miss, but sometimes you strike gold. Kids have no boundaries on their imaginations, and very little filter when telling their stories. Have them invent a new superhero, or a monster. Ask them about magic in their story, or have them describe some of the great inventions in their world. Take notes, then take those seeds and plant them in your fertile brain.
Think of all the things you’ve ever loved. Make a list. Every story is, at its heart, a love story: love for a romantic partner, a child, a sibling, a homeland, a god . . . even love of power and control. Make a list of every single thing you’ve loved in your life, from people to pizza. It’ll surprise you, and pull up a wash of memories that may yield what you’re looking for.
Being a writer means to live a constant cycle of frustration and euphoria. There’s no getting around that. But every day you navigate and inhabit a world that still has secrets and mysteries to be mined. One of those tricks might just lead you to the jackpot.
About L.E. DeLano
L.E. DeLano is a blogger and autism advocate under her alternate moniker, Ellie DeLano. She comes equipped with a “useless” Theatre degree that has opened doors for her in numerous ways. Though mostly raised in New Mexico, she now lives in Pennsylvania with two hilarious kids and two ridiculous cats. When she’s not writing, which is almost never, she’s binge-watching Netflix and taking road trips. Traveler is her debut novel.
Author Visits, Interviews, Signings
L.E. DeLano is available for the following:
Library and school visits
Telephone: (484) 682-8815
Rep’d by: Jennifer Udden, Barry Goldblatt Literary – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles—Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it…This Jessa is going to live.
Thank you so much, Ellie, for participating in this feature and bringing up some inspiration topics for all of us! Some lighthearted inspiration can be exactly what we all need when we get stuck with a rock hard wave of writers block. =)
As always, thank you to all the wonderful people who have participated in this feature. Your words of advice never go unappreciated by all of the wonderful writers who need it!
We hope you have a great rest of your week!