1. JackLUFC
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    JackLUFC Member

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    Struggling for inspiration

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JackLUFC, Feb 11, 2012.

    Hi all,
    I want to write a story, preferably in the crime/thriller/horror genres. However, despite repeatedly racking my brains for ideas that don't seem too far-fetched, I can't think of any good ideas and I'm at a loss. I do feel the need to write, however.
    Have any of you got any ideas on how to get inspiration, particularly for the aforementioned genres?
    Thanks.
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always start with a character. Pick the hero, the villain, the victim - doesn't matter. Then write a scene with that character in it. Maybe the commission of the crime, the discovery of it, just before it happens - heck, the concluding scene of the book. Doesn't matter. All you have to do is start with one character and one scene. Work that scene for all its worth - can almost guarantee you'll find your story beginning in your head, even if that scene gets tossed in the bin, and the character along with it.
     
  3. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I feel your pain. I have issues with writing too where I have inspiration but no urge to write and then have the urge to write but no inspiration. You cannot force yourself to write. Remember writing a paper for school, you had to write because there was an incentive or you procrastinated like me and wrote the last three days because inspiration came.

    These things take time and patience. Here are some suggestions how I write stories.

    1. Relax and do something you enjoy other than writing: I love listening to music because it stirs my imagination and gives me an idea I can elaborate on. If it does not fit the genre you are writing about so what. Just write

    2. Do you have an iphone or a phone where you can save notes. When there is a moment where you have a few sentences write them down and then slowly continue it.

    3. Grab a piece of paper and physically write your ideas in a list of words and then break down the story. Start at a scene that is easy to write for you. You can always move backwards or forwards. I like to write my important scenes first and my ending and fill in the gaps later. Your writing will evolve and you will realize your original ideas may not fit write or are not good ideas anymore.

    I have been working on one book for the past 6 years. I have 65% of it done and I am constantly changing it and I have over 20 composition notebooks of copies of rewritten scenes. Do not be afraid if you are stuck. Try something different!
     
  4. JackLUFC
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    JackLUFC Member

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    Thanks for the help, guys. I'll try thinking of writing just one scene and creating just one character for now.
     
  5. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    Good advice, except for this -- you can force yourself to write.

    You could wait for inspiration to strike, but you can also take control and tell yourself you're going to be inspired. And even if that doesn't work, you still can make yourself sit down and write something. It may not start out as inspired writing, but with practice and discipline, it can turn out that way.

    Some writers sit themselves down in a chair with their writing for a certain amount of time each day whether they want to or not. Some writers make themselves sit there for that allotted time and will not allow themselves to get up -- they don't have to write, but they can't do anything else.

    These disciplined techniques work well for some people, and are probably used by many serious writers. I don't force myself to write very frequently -- writing is a hobby and a passion but not a career for me, so I have no deadlines -- but maybe I ought to take my advice more often.
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ this! Joanna said it well. I'm like Joanna, I don't have to force myself, I look forward to that moment all day, when I can sit down and dedicate myself to writing, it's my passion, but some writers need to be a little more disciplined to get the work done than others. You could try it and see it it works for you, because sometimes inspiration comes while you're writing, even though it wasn't there to start with.
     
  7. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    I write lots of little scenes and 'flash fiction'. At least it keeps my skills up, and one day something bigger might blossom.
     
  8. cold grave
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    cold grave Member

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    The themes in your book tell us what is important to you as an author and person. Forget the genre categories. What movies, TV shows, books have made you cry? What resonates with you, personally, as a work of art?

    If you don't have an inspiration for a specific story, write about your own life. It can turn out to be more interesting than you think.
     
  9. JackLUFC
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    JackLUFC Member

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    I like loads of different films and books. No books have made me cry but I did cry at The Green Mile.
     
  10. Omlaw
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    Omlaw New Member

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    When I don't know the story I want to tell, this is always how I start. I've done this for three of my different novels, and while each scene I wrote in the beginning was thrown out, it helped me say "okay, this is how the story feels, these are my characters, this is my story." It's a warm-up exercise, plain and simple.

    As for getting in the mood to write... For me, I don't think that listening to music or distracting yourself will do it. But, like someone said above, I am always jotting down notes into my phone when stuck in rush hour and day dreaming. To get into the writing zone, though, I basically meditate. I stuff some ear plugs in (not because there's a lot of noise, but because there's something very calming and free about being totally in silence with your own thoughts) and I do some breathing exercises of holding my breath for 30 seconds at a time, repeat like 6 or 8 times. All in all, within 5 minutes, I'm ready to write. It's odd, but, hey, writers are an odd bunch, right?
     
  11. Papillon
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    Papillon New Member

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    In school, I learned a tecnic called "Fast typing". You just write everything down that pops up in your mind for about 10 minutes.
    Don't stop to correct gramma or delete sentences. You have to keep writing no matter what.
    Eventually, you will have a paper with a lot of random thoughts, but also a lot of inspiration :)
     
  12. wilprim
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    wilprim Member

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    Could be as simple as starting with a title, sentence, word, or anything. An idea can be kindled by many interesting things that you wouldn't even believe. Maybe something like, "The lights went out." haha
     
  13. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like that. it really makes you start seeing a number of possible stories from there. :)
     
  14. Dullener
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    Dullener Member

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    The best place where you can get ideas is on bed.
    Rack your brains on bed. Being a little less conscious and relaxed will make idea come running on your head.
    Though, you may forget them, so keep a little notepad along with you.
    D. for?
    Doney
     
  15. INFJ
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    INFJ New Member

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    For me inspiration comes to me when I notice something odd in my everyday surroundings. From there my imagination might expand the scene I am seeing or remembering.

    Another thing I've found that helps me is to create in my mind using images instead of words. This might be an obvious one to most people, but I find it easier to break a creative block if I picture scenes happening in my mind and letting them run their course before trying to describe them with words.

    Good luck.
     
  16. Erato
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    Erato Contributing Member

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    My ideas usually come first in the form of a concept - how about a city story where a girl assassinates her king? Or one involving traveling forwards in time, by accident? - and then the plot and characters take shape. Another useful device was to write a program to randomly select topics: family friendship warrior music magic. Danger love grudge royalty. You get the idea. I don't usually have writer's block; I get inability to decide what to write, rather than inability to write.
     
  17. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Write whatever comes. The more you try to shape your scenes, the worse they get sometimes. That's what I found anyway. Recently I was trying to come up with a worship ritual scene for my fantasy novel - I had no clue how it should go, couldn't imagine it at all, and since I've not experienced any kind of worship rituals outside of the Christian communion, it was difficult for me to think of anything more original, and everything I came up with resembled it. I scrapped 2 scenes. And the 3rd time, I decided, "Screw it, I'm just gonna write whatever comes!" Not what I think I should be writing, but simply whatever comes first in context to what I need to write.

    And I started with a bunch of priestly teachers going down the aisles with chimes - now I certainly saw the Catholic resemblance, so originality is still not my strong point here, but it didn't matter, because suddenly the scene worked. It flowed. I could see it, I was convinced of it, and it worked.

    So, just go with the flow. Start writing and see what comes. I got a sci-fi idea for a 2nd novel when I dug out something random I wrote as a 16-year-old, and that idea just came because I thought it'd be interesting back then, I never used to plan, you see. And now it's become a whole concept.
     
  18. dred
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    dred Member

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    For me, I do several things:

    1. Read, watch films or listen to music, and pause at points I wish to ponder, this normally leads me to writing a few comments down or forming a thought, which leads to me forming a story, just based off a thought or single point from a film or TV show, book or piece of music.

    2. Write. Pure and simple, I just write about anything. I have not experienced writers block, as I just write, about a film, a thought, observations about myself or others.

    This I feel really is therapeutic for me, as it not only means I have found a lot out about myself and others, but I also have a regular writing habit.
     

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