Inspiration can also be our prerogative sometimes that makes us follow what our heart feels like doing at the moment or in the days to come and which has a time period attached to it as well. There are chances that the things or people who inspire me today, does no longer hold relevance in my life tomorrow. So inspiration in this case is goal bound. Tomorrow my goals might change and so would be my inspiration. Inspiration can be a tricky word which itself is used alternatively for hope, goal in life, passion, courage and a slew of other things.
So if you are a novelist and is looking for inspiration day in day out, in order to write a great story, which would engage the readers, at the same time give you creative satisfaction…inspiration plays a big role.
Like anything, novel writing on any day can be as exciting as you feel like you are going to have your first date, with all your creative juices flowing in and the next day can be as boring and taxing as it can be. On a particular day, you may feel that it is just like a daily chore and you no longer have ideas about how to complete the plot, what to bring in new in the characters. You as the characters themselves suddenly go mum…
So what are the unlikely places you can go to/refer to draw inspiration for your novel?
Here are few of them listed in the following section:
1) Watching people – This is something I love to do and is essential for any writer. Go to a mall or a busy public place which has people jostling here and there. Simply observing people as to how they are talking, their body movements as they laugh, murmur ear to ear, smile and express a varied lot of emotions, will amuse you, fascinate you to the hilt! You may pick up an idea or two for your novel.
2) At the beach – The Ocean is bound to put a smile on your face, no matter how bad your day is, how pathetic you are feeling or how stuck you are in life. You could go on looking at the waves as they come and go and wash against the shore in a cycle, making you believe that life itself is a challenge and you have to look for inspiration in small small things if you want to make the best out of it.
3) Movies – Watching movies is a passion I always had and watching a good movie, all cozied up on the sofa on a warm winter night is my ultimate dream come true. The characters in the movie may amuse you, certain dialogues may influence you so much that you would like to include them in your novel. The plot, cinematography, portrayal of characters in the movie, altogether may propel you to think about your story in a different angle or bring about new ideas. The possibilities are endless.
4) Blogs and write-ups – I am usually a voracious reader and like to read everything under the sun, irrespective of the topic. Sometimes I may just glance through some of the things I am reading and other times I get totally engrossed in reading up a nicely written blog or article, which in turn gives me inspiration for how to go about my own story!
5) Travel – In case you are not lucky enough to be staying in a coastal city like Mumbai or Margao where you can go to the beach, or some hilly place which has ample scenic beauty, whenever you feel like looking for inspiration ,the other way you may choose is to travel solo. I try to visit queer, unusual and of the track places which is secluded and not much crowded on the first hand. Travelling solo gives you ample time to research about the place, its history, culture and way of life of local people. All these things can contribute to your novel writing and you can get some tips/some quotes/some useful info from the locals, which you could either add up or bring in as a fresh idea in the plot of your story.
6) Life of a great person – There are people who came into this world and became inspiration for many. Reading about their lives, what challenges they faced, how they overcame their shortcomings…may inspire you as a person about how to make the best of life. Their stories may get you the best takeaways for your own novel.
7) Talk to friends and dear ones – Isn’t it something we do as a mood booster or as a feel good factor. Once you get into a relaxed and happy mood, you are automatically infused with new ideas and thoughts. The conversation you had with your loved ones, the things you discussed and the outcome it had, can be as silly or as deep as it sounds. Sometimes the two of you may get into a brainstorming mode trying to find solutions or new ideas about a given problem, the answers may lay hidden within and make for a great plot later on.
8) Journaling – It’s a good practice to journal incidences about your day to day life. This will let you remember important things which happened during that particular day and sometimes may bring out a certain reaction within you, when you look back and read your journal for that day. It may happen that your mind is fixed on a particular incidence which happened in the past and you start remembering each and every step that transpired, which in turn will inspire you to write something in your novel from your own life incidences!
9) Music – Music is a great mood booster hands down and nobody can ever deny the effect it has on ones psyche. There are ample examples where science has proved the benefits of listening to music and what effect it has on every cell of our body. Some of the best ideas and plots can unravel while you are listening to some soul stirring music.
10) Hobbies – Everybody has a hobby and whenever we interact with any other person, a very common question we ask is “What is your Hobby?”. So apart from the more generic hobbies like paining, singing, biking etc, there are other queer hobbies like coin collecting, star gazing, listening to weird sounds and recording them and others. A hobby is something you like to do in your free time and would generally like to research on/ gather more information about. People have a habit of putting references from their own life into their novels and so your hobbies may also find their way into your stories making for a good read.
Apart from the above listed unlikely places we may seek inspiration from to write our next novel , there can be a 100 other ways to find inspiration. They are totally personal and may work out for some and not for others. “To each his own” is the apt phrase to describe such a situation. So what are you waiting for? Go find your own inspiration and churn a great novel!!