Finding inspiration for your next story/book doesn’t have to be a burden for you as a young creative.
There is no need to have a meltdown trying to figure out what next to write, either as a full-length story, a short story, flash fiction, micro-fiction, or any other kind of tale you’d like to tell.
You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t, then you’re not looking properly _ Paul Smith
One of the most popular ways to gain inspiration for a story idea is through using writing prompts. Also, for fiction authors, another great way to gain inspiration is blending a mix of genres or genre-based troupes, ancient retellings, personal experiences, or imaginations to produce something exciting and freshly baked.
However, there are several other interesting sources of creative inspiration for your next book project and some of these are buried deep in the simple things you find around you.
In truth, you have to be open to seeing beyond the things around you into what could be done to make it better, that way, you get to give life to these thoughts through words.
Better yet, you could be triggered by some of these sources, and it will take you on a long trip through the paths of revelation, enlightenment, and discovery of ideas that you can spin into a beautiful story.
Here are 10 untapped sources of creative inspiration you can harness for your next story/writing project.
Every controversial discussion has several sides to the topic because everyone wants to pitch their voices on the matter. As a writer, you can pick apart these voices, examine the core of the discussion, take note of the effects of the controversy, analyze the people it truly affects, and what everyone stands to gain or lose in the plot. This gives you a solid outline and boom, you’ve got an inspiring idea that can be woven into a beautiful controversial story that speaks from your perspective as a writer.
Before you use controversy as a source of inspiration, you must have a vested interest in the topic of discussion, or it won’t light the spark you truly seek.
A Revised Story Ending
This isn’t a popular source of inspiration for most writers, but it has its perks because you can rewrite a more befitting ending to a story you love using your characters, plot, storyline, and theme.
Imagine writing a revised ending to a folktale you know in modern times, using a modern setting, characters, and plot. It will be intriguing to find out what would have happened if a character in the folktale didn’t die, a child wasn’t born, the war didn’t happen, anarchy didn’t exist, or a love tale didn’t fizzle out.
This source of inspiration puts a spin on the what’s ifs and whatnot of the story you are retelling in your own words.
This is a beautiful and exciting source of inspiration for new writers. Blending troupes and genre-based plots together can make for an explosive, captivating, and phenomenal story idea if constructed well enough.
I’m talking something like mixing up the romantic, crime thriller genre with rivalry, power dynamics, and the hate-to-love troupe thrown in the mix, or a paranormal, sci-fi story, where werewolves, vampires, and witches were gods of galaxies.
Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself, but you get the point now.
A troupe/story merge gives you a great opportunity to explore the unthinkable, but you have to be careful to take note of all the genre-specific details of whatever troupe you’re blending.
This aspect has been greatly misconstrued as only serving one purpose which is inspiring a character from a story. However, character inspiration can mean more than that. It can inspire an entire story in itself that is relatable and beautiful.
The picture and setting behind your character can trigger something beautiful in your mind, that you can expand into a great storyline.
Character inspirations don’t have to be used only to idolize a character from a story, they could be the main inspiration behind the entire story itself.
A piece of art hanging on the wall or in an office, or in a gallery can trigger your senses. If a piece calls out to you, listen to what it has to say, and journey with it through the brush strokes to understand why it’s calling out to you.
An artwork in itself is a story, yet there could be more underlying threads you can pull apart to see into the soul of that piece of art.
When next you look at a piece of art, try to look beyond the painting. Also, not every art will call out to you or trigger you, but when you find the one that does, open up to accept its allure.
A Nagging Question/Thought
There is no doubt that a lot of new writers might not understand the power of their thoughts or understand how to navigate through the chaos in their heads. Most often, a lot of new writers will discard those thoughts or nagging ideas as a waste of time, especially if doesn’t have a definite form yet.
What you may not know yet, is that sometimes, our minds are triggered by something, and because you are not aware of what the trigger is, it becomes a nagging thought in your head you want to get rid of.
Instead of casting those thoughts aside, you should take your time to analyze why you keep having such thoughts and write them down as it plays out in your head.
These thoughts could be your response to a situation or experience that has eluded you for a long time or a new idea that is formulated because of some sort of trigger.
In truth, this particular source of inspiration could mean nothing at all or be the answer to the questions you seek. Either way, ensure you analyze it first, then make up your mind on what to do with the results of your analysis.
A Rare Occurrence
This source of inspiration happens rarely. It could come from a new normal or a devastating outcome. An example of one such recent occurrence is Covid 19.
I’m sure there are several stories inspired by this rare occurrence, either by those affected by it, those still left with its effects, or people who have loved ones affected by it negatively.
A rare occurrence doesn’t always have to be negative or traumatic. So also, you can put a spin on your story about such an occurrence from any point of view you wish to adopt.
As the title righty states, it’s a rare occurrence, which means it is a very uncommon source of inspiration for the writer, yet, very powerful when utilized well.
Also, such an occurrence doesn’t have to happen in recent times for it to be valid, you can take your story to whichever era it occurred and base you’re the timeline of your story there.
There are a lot of seasons in a year, but the focus is usually on the popular, trendy ones like Christmas-inspired stories, valentine-inspired love stories, summer stories, and things like that, whereas you can make a switch to awareness/trends for great story ideas.
In every calendar month of the year, there is an awareness/trend. You can browse for the full rundown of these trends and pick out trends that resonate with your author’s brands and weave stories from them.
Some trends are significant and encompassing, while others may be pretty straightforward. Trends such as mental awareness month, men’s mental health month, etc. can be used as great sources of inspiration for your next book project.
This is not to discourage you from writing about popular seasons. No. It sells like hotcakes too, but you can make an exception now and then to write about something different.
Watching Movies/Reading Books
A great many ideas have popped up here and there from watching a good movie or reading a good book. This will always be an evergreen source of inspiration to the writer, especially new writers like you because books and movies trigger certain emotions in you.
These emotions are what you should harness and recreate with your story plot, feeding your character’s life with these emotions.
Using emotions as a source of inspiration has its perks because you can incorporate a lot of other sources of inspiration into it. Like a revised story ending, a troupe merge, character inspiration, a new purpose, etc.
When next you read a good book or watch a movie that made you feel different, cherish that emotion and dwell on it to see if it triggers anything in your mind.
An Interesting Conversation/Life Experiences
This is a highly common but uncommon source of inspiration because I’m not talking about your conversations with people. I’m talking about conversations people have as you commute to work, stories passed around between strangers, an altercation or situation between people you’ve never met, and real-life experiences of people you bump into on the sidewalk, because you have raw feelings around it.
This is not to say that your personal experiences don’t count; they do. But, listening and watching others express themselves will always trigger your curiosity, especially when you’re left wondering how the story began.
The need to fill in the gaps in that story is where your inspiration lies. The need to understand where your story goes from where it stopped is where your plot and outline lie.
Rare and unplanned conversations can become an untapped source of inspiration to you because you will hear the unexpected and listen to stories that will make you want nothing more but to write about them.
These sources of inspiration can be handy for you as a new writer. Mixing it in with your writing prompts can help you create a unique story that stands out in the crowd.
Also, all of these may not resonate with you, but keeping an open mind is a crucial element you should inculcate as a new writer.