1. hellwarrior
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    hellwarrior New Member

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    How should I get my inspiration for writing my first novel?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hellwarrior, Sep 20, 2014.

    Hi everybody! I'm new on this forum and I never wrote any novel. My goal for the next year is to write a novel. The only thing I'm sure is that it would likely be an horror, fantastic or drama novel.

    My question is; Where do you get your inspiration for a story? How to you start the process of writing a novel?
     
  2. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you think your story is likely to be one of three different things, you don't seem very sure of what it will be.

    I'd start by writing what you know. Think of the experiences you've had in life, and any interesting anecdotes you might tell a friend. If you have a desire to bring to light a social issue, you could work this in. Many stories include defining some sort of problem and then describe how the characters work towards a solution.
     
  3. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Other stories.
    For my current project: by re-reading and dissecting the story that inspired it.

    Out of curiosity: what got you interested in writing a novel, if not an idea for a story? What do you expect out of it?
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I was motivated to write a female protagonist that didn't suck and a story that didn't have an unrealistic dystopia.

    I built my story up around those goals.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Think about what you like to read. Come up with a theme, or a scenario, or a problem. Say you like zombies. That's a genre but it's not really an idea. In order to shape it consider a setting - summer camp, and an age group - 12 year olds. Think of a theme - how about a kinda of Lord of the Flies meets Zombie fiction. Then you just come up with a problem - they're all alone. Now you have an idea - A group of children are cut off from adults when a zombie outbreak occurs. But the battle for power becomes as dangerous as the zombies that follow them.

    You can do this with anything. You just need a genre and or setting, the age of a protagonist, and a problem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
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  6. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I re-wrote my mother by turning her into a giant hairy spider. It was cathartic :whistle:
     
  7. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Don't think too much about it before starting.

    Just start writing and see where it leads, then start thinking more in-depth about where your characters are taking you.
     
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  8. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I re-wrote my brother by turning him into a monstrous vermin and locking him in his room. It was absurd surreal. And laden with complex symbolism.
     
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  9. hellwarrior
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    hellwarrior New Member

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    Thanks everybody for your help. It's very appreciated.
     
  10. Phil Waisome
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    Phil Waisome New Member

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    Good luck!

    I find inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime.

    Well for me I research a bit then I simply write.
     
  11. Lisa Gee
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    Lisa Gee New Member

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    Hi there - I got a 10 DVD course from writers-course.co.uk/ and, with the help of this site too, I've almost finihed my first book - excited!!! Hope this helps
     
  12. Lisa Gee
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    Lisa Gee New Member

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    Whoops - didn't spell finished correctly - great start :)
     
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  13. Christine Ralston
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    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    Be prepared for it to take more than a year to have a finished novel. Yeah, you can have a first draft knocked out in a few months, but revising it into something that's publishable...that can take much longer. Good luck!
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    If you have to think of a way to be inspired, there is already an issue. The idea for the novel on which I am now getting input from beta-readers and doing a final review before I begin the querying process occurred to me when I was reading up on the history of a country that had been in the news but about which I had realized I knew very little. I was inspired by the difficult history of that country to write a story entwined in its history, and everything flowed from that.

    The very first novel I attempted came about because two characters had occurred to me, just popped into my head one day - two high school kids in the late 1930s. I started writing and researching and writing some more. If I knew then what I know now, it would have been a better novel. As it was, it was a helluva learning experience.

    The inspiration comes first. An idea. It festers long enough to become a compulsion. Take an interest in enough things, and ideas will sprout. There really isn't a magic formula.
     
  15. Alexa C. Morgan
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    Alexa C. Morgan Member

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    If we knew where to get inspiration, or a sure way of procuring such we would all be bazillionaires / with 500k+ copies of our 30's novel sold. It's a subjective thing, and it occurs whenever it occurs, no specific activity, location, or tool used to obtain such. Agatha Christie found"inspiration" while washing dishes. Others found drinking, hunting extinct animals or taking drugs. Some use sleep and dreaming, but most people I think, either they read/saw/another story and or character that "inspired" them to duplicate or mimic or talk about the subject because it touched them, OR have something to say about what interests them / how they see the world they live in. When you MUST share that on paper, when the NEED to write bypasses other preoccupations, inspiration will find you. Is a bit of a chicken and egg/vicious circle. I am not sure if I get inspired when I write (then something I see / think/ read - makes me want to write more) or if the ideas come before hand. I guess if it is about the first elements of a novel, then yeah, ideas surely come first. If you mean the inspiration (or the muse) to keep on writing or to be in "the flow" of writing, that has a tempestuous personality :)
     
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  16. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is what I have found. An idea is a reaction. If you want ideas, then expose yourself to things you would react to. Read books. Watch movies. Form relationships with interesting people. Study psychology.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
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  17. Tyler Danann
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    Tyler Danann Active Member

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    A tough question, but basically it should be something you enjoy writing about, you can FULLY get behind AND be passionate about writing it.
    Enjoying it is good, but without the passion you'll find issues like writers block and dead-spaces etc.

    Are you writing for pleasure or actually to get it on the shelves someday? If the latter / both you'll have to work on getting it edited professionally or take many months and even years going over it with friends to get it up to the standard.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  18. karmazon
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    karmazon Member

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    I either get some crazy idea out of nowhere that I think is worth exploring further(a 'what if?' premise, like "what if the moon was made out of cheese?" or just something crazy and weird), combine several existing stories (I believe the movie Alien was pitched as "Jaws in space") or find a theme that can be explored through a story ("does love really conquer all?").
     
  19. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Inspiration can come in any form, but I will say this. Pick your genre. Don't fluctate, this can lead to extreme plot tangles. Of the three listed above, which do you read more of. Horror, Fantasy, or Drama, which defaults to most standard fiction?

    There is no hard and fast way to an epiphany. I get mine from music, movies, books, and life in general. I love to people watch. However, one of the main driving forces that keeps me going with a project is the overabundance of mediocre writing I have encountered. Genre authors are a little less grievous with their plot holes. But there are books I've read that are so bad that the muse goes: If this stuff can make it into circulation, why can't I?

    Some of the stories, I want to hear, just simply aren't around because they are in my head. These are the stories I want to read and in order to do that I have to write them because no one else will. Basic, padantic and ultimate inspiration in a nutshell. :agreed:
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
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  20. Wowzie
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    Wowzie Member

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    Perhaps, to write a novel, think about an interesting topic long enough, while simultaneously writing all your thoughts down.
     
  21. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Spot on.
     
  22. Joe King
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    Joe King Member

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    I don't think there's any "How should I get my inspiration" or "Where do you get inspiration", it should just come to you. It shouldn't be a matter of just deciding to write a novel, there should be something you see, hear, do etc that makes you think you'd love to write about or learn more about. I see you've said you would definitely write a horror, fantasy or drama? What appeals to you out of these topics? Maybe you watched a horror movie and thought 'I'd love to write my own type of story like this' or saw/felt real life drama that gave you inspiration to write about it? I'd say whatever made you decide to type those three topics in the original post is inspiration enough and to just go from there. Good luck :)
     
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  23. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    This line, right there, I have a little bit of an issue with. This is implying an ephiphany, which are rare and all the more precious because they are such a blinding insight. Inspiration isn''t a dog; it doesn't come when called. It is a skill that needs to be cultivated. If one waited for inspiration to just come, history would be frozen and humans would most likely still be knapping flint.

    Creating is an active process, a global process in the brain, involving both hemispheres. To find inspiration one also needs to know how to recognize it. Does it engage on an emotional level? Is it something that stopped you mid-sentence, did you pause to take a longer look, or listen more intently? Did you slow down after the first inhaled bite of cheeseburger to savour the rest of it after your mind went: Damn this is good...

    It is an active process inherent on recognition of a foundation interest. It is also the creative process that makes up such a huge part of the way we are. I'm a people watcher, I've seen everything from the near manic high of ephiphany to some of the severer cases of autism. And it has shown me that in order to create you have to be open to observation on a fundamental level.

    A good read to check out on the subject: Imagine: How Creativity Works.

    Sorry for the ramble,

    - Darkkin, the Tedious
     
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  24. Joe King
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    Joe King Member

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    What I meant was you can't really just say to yourself "I'm going to right a novel, how do I get inspiration for this?" I didn't mean it should come to you like in the form of an epiphany, no ones going to be sitting on the toilet finding inspiration and having a magical idea spring to mind of the next best seller. What I meant was inspiration should come to you, maybe while you're out for a walk passing something fascinating or doing something you love, playing sports for instance, usually being in the moment inspiration will come to you, rather than just sitting there thinking and saying you need to find inspiration.
     
  25. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    [QUOTE="Joe King, post: 1282104, member: 67343 "I'm going to right a novel, how do I get inspiration for this?"[/QUOTE]

    Nobody is going to right a novel, you write a novel. Watch context. :agreed:.

    But one fundamental function of doing any of those things is active observation and awareness. You have to know how to listen to your consciousness.
     

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