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On The Table Read, “the best creativity magazine in the UK“, a guide for aspiring authors to discover how to find the inspiration you need for writing a novel.
Whether you’re a literary titan or an aspiring word aficionado, finding a cohesive outlet can be quite a turmoil, even for the most experienced storytellers. Writing a novel heavily relies on the momentum of intangible, a non-physical tidal wave carrying the author from A to B. Epilogue to prologue. Simply put, it’s a commitment to creation. The mere thought of trying without succeeding is an abyss for any literary flame.
With writer’s block slowly becoming passé, our potentially empty pages could echo personal failure until eternity. Now, that’s daunting. Should we fear it? -Absolutely not. Inspiration is an omnipresent consequence of simply existing. The world is an elaborate mechanism of potential stimuli; our duty as writers is to pick the fruit and articulate incoming impulses into visions and visions into words.
If you’re a fellow struggling litterateur, here’s how to get inspiration for writing a novel.
Rekindle your inspiration
Writing a novel is, indeed, a colossal endeavor. Our brain is a tireless beast; it never actually stops working. A single human being produces tens of thousands of thoughts per day. In truth, we are a vessel for absorbing and processing precious information about cosmic existence, capturing the subtlest hues of a single night sky and behavioral nuances of the ones we love and the ones we will never get to know.
Our R.E.M. phase alone is a well of subconscious wealth waiting to be exploited. And we’re running out of creative fuel. Now, that’s pure blasphemy.
Other forms of art. Reading book after book might get our creative fire burning, but it can also impede articulating our authentic voice as an author. A literary cluster can discourage debutant novelists from ever starting their ink journey, as self-doubt and other forms of self-deprecating nouns always find a way to crawl under our skin and into our rumination.
Pieces of fine art, such as sculptures and paintings, can instigate entirely different spheres of our ingenious persona. Finding a piece of art that speaks to us volumes will open the indefinite gates of sheer creativity. Other forms of art can be an inspiration for creating a bulletproof protagonist of our story.
A little black notebook
It is always a writer’s best friend. Granted, we live in a digital era, and having a notebook and a pen around might seem downright outrageous, especially to an untrained eye. But, going analog matters. Writing down snippets of accidental unearthly dialogue, putting down character croquis, or just documenting something strikingly beautiful yet unrelated to our novel premise might become THE key particle to our literary crochet.
Forget about your phone. Try writing down inspiring things you encounter on a daily basis; there’s nothing like it. True detective thrill beats smart technology. If you’re hungry for novel material, look no further than New York City. Its vision-infused neighborhoods are why thousands of artists flock to “Gotham” and find inspiration here. Perhaps it will work for you, too.
Go out, be open
Our senses rely on external stimuli. Staying in all the time cannot provide the necessary material, not the full scope, at least. The inspiration we seek will not come to us willingly. It’s a game of “hide and seek,” and we need to play it smart. Even if our introverted side condemns us, our character-based novel requires us to indulge in social interactions, no matter how stress-inducing.
Before writing a book, a novelist must become an explorer and expand the self-imposed boundaries of their comfort zone. Being open and exposing ourselves to the “what will be will be” philosophy leads to great character-building. We’re not saying – do something completely out of character and regret it first thing in the morning; we’re saying you’re writing a book. You need to observe, interact, feel, and process. If you’re struggling with how to get inspiration for writing a novel, it boils down to this: there’s no shying away from life.
Listen to music
Music is one of the finest forms of storytelling. Like a book, a single music piece can unfold coats of inexhaustible imagination. It’s a primordial form of psychoanalysis, penetrating our subconscious and forcing our associative abilities to make unfathomable connections. Play with it. Use this powerful tool to your author persona’s advantage. Experiment and see what drives your curiosity through incoming images. Opera, heavy metal, good old folk; anything goes.
If you’re working on character development, try listening to a genre that would fit your protagonist, or antagonist, for that matter. The power of music can lend us our fictional character’s emotional apparatus and create room for understanding their deep thoughts and feelings. In fact, moving experts from Divine Moving and Storage report witnessing an increase in vintage record players on their clients’ inventory lists. The power of music is simply indisputable.
Take a break
If everything else fails – take a break. Inspiration is not something we can force. If you find yourself sitting behind a desk for hours on end without uttering a word, drop it. Take a sharp turn and do something different; it’s time to clear the mind. Even the most mundane tasks can reset our creative genius; ferociously scrubbing the toilet, baking muffins, or a brisk walk around the neighborhood can alleviate the accumulated stress related to our tabula rasa inferno.
Inspiration is our mental dough. Let it rest. Returning to your novel’s premise with fresh eyes will bring a myriad of new angles and possibilities. Before you begin writing a masterpiece, ask yourself: who am I writing for? It all starts from there.
If you want to learn how to get inspiration for writing a novel, you need to embrace the absence of self-confinement. Any idea goes. The world of fiction is your playground; dare to join it.
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