To achieve a well rounded novel, short story, or thing that you use words to create, you have to do this. Writing tutorials are nice and so are author inspirations. That only gets you so far. I have mentioned before that writers have to experience life (and as a writer who exists in the world right now, you probably “get” that). The things that you find in life can find their way into and inspire your writing just as much as your favorite writer, if you distill the “style” and feeling out of these places into your writing.
This might work because writing is an art and art’s…interchangeable. You can get so moved by a sculpture that you write a poem about it, for example. That’s being human. I have listed below a few sources for you to check for inspiration, should you find yourself in a writer’s block, but the list doesn’t end there. Let ideas come to you from anywhere. If luck’s on your side, they’ll come.
You still have to write if they don’t, though.
This is probably one of the more common inspiration sources out there. I have seen authors even thank certain musicians in the acknowledgements (…or the dedication) because without the imagery that the music gave them, a certain character of theirs wouldn’t have grown into the depth they have today.
Having inspiration come from music means many things. It could mean that while you’re writing, you listen to a certain genre of a song because the rhythm puts you in the mood for a battle scene, or a death scene, or a scene where everything’s eating cherry pie and all is well. It could also mean that the lyrics have this raw feeling in them that helps you write your character’s personality.
Here’s how I like to see it: music evokes emotion, so it inspires your novels by drawing the emotion you feel in it as you write. No more, no less.
Just don’t actually put the lyrics of the full song in. That’s bad taste, boring, and also copyrighted (you laugh, but I have seen it done many a time).
The artistic inspiration goes faaaar beyond middle school English class, when your teacher gave you a painting and told you to “write a story about it”. That can be useful if done right, yes, but I want to make it known that there’s more than one way to get inspiration from art.
Just as writers have different styles, so do artists. You probably know this, but have you ever thought that they have similar styles? Some writers slam their words on the keyboards, just as some painters sling their paints on the thing-that-they-sling-paint-on (canvas??).
Certain art styles will draw you in. It’s your job to peg why they draw you in, exactly, and infuse that intrigue into your writing. Without copying them. Please do not paint your manuscript.
Besides for character development, I mean.
Pay attention to people, both literary and non. Pay attention to the guy at the grocery store. Pay attention to that political figure you hate on tv. Pay attention to musicians.
People can help inspire you to see the world differently. People are opinionated; they do things based of their opinions. Watch them, see where it leads them, listen to them, and learn from them. Put the perspectives you learn in your writing.
See? Not just useful for character development.
You don’t have to like chemical equations to be inspired by science. Luckily. Or else I would throw science out the window and stomp on it and never let it near my writing.
But the study of science is fascinating; maybe you feel positively about it already, maybe not, but I suggest you don’t think of it as homework. Find your niche of science that you enjoy reading about and read about it. You never know what inspiration you’ll find from it—not just for your sci-fi stories, but for anything literary!
Science increases your knowledge about the way the world works. Since you’re writing about the world in some shape, I invite you to at least try a science magazine out. You never know what inspiration waits for you.
Basically anything in the world, so long as you learn from it.
Feel the world around you and turn the emotions into inspiration. If a film evokes interest to you, see what components it’s made of—maybe you liked the pacing in it. Take that pacing and use it. You’ll find writing a lot more enjoyable and depth-y.
Don’t plagiarize, though. Inspiration and copying are two separate things and you’ll know darn well when you’re falling trap to the latter. Tell things in your own voice…if your inspiration doesn’t encroach on that, then you’re good.
Continue to analyze the world around you, my fellow writers, and keep writing.