Katherine's Posts,  Writing

Where Is Inspiration When You Need It?

Inspiration is sometimes hard to find. This topic is something I wanted to blog about since me and my friends first started this website, but I haven’t gotten around to it until now. So that brings me to today:

Are you looking at writing a story but unsure of what to write about? (That’s me sometimes.) Are you stuck in your writing and clueless about what to do next? (Oh, yeah, that’s definitely me.) Do you feel like you’re all out of ideas? (I feel ya!) You’re probably asking yourself: “where is inspiration when you need it?” You’re not alone. We all feel like we don’t get any ideas most of the time.

So, where is inspiration? Most authors will tell you that it’s everywhere. This is true, however, let me say that inspiration is intertwined with personality. It is based on our interests, what we like, what makes us excited, or what ignites our imagination. A lot of times we don’t really know where to find inspiration. I think maybe it would be great to start off by finding what interests you. Try new things, look in new places. If it helps, you can make a list of the things you like or enjoy doing.

Then ask questions – lots of questions. 

For example, just the word “princess” is intriguing to me. So, then I ask myself, does she like being a princess or what if she never knew she was born into royalty? I come up with different stories that involve a princess but not necessarily as the main character. You may get an idea from a picture in a magazine or from that broken clock on the wall. You might ask yourself why is this clock broken? What caused it to break? What if it was broken on purpose? Certain words can spark imagination as well (like my princess example above). Maybe you like to draw. Maybe you can create an entire story solely around one drawing. Did you draw a tree? Is it magical? If you like history, you might find your story in a setting in the past. You might ask yourself: I wonder what it would have been like to live during such and such time?

Sometimes an idea may come from something you’ve seen or heard. I know lots of people get story ideas from music or dreams they’ve had. (Here lately some of my ideas have come from dreams.) Back in the spring I entered a 500-word short story in a contest. The story started out as a dream right before I learned about the contest. I dreamt of a father and son who never got along with each other. The next day, I asked myself questions about the dream. I asked: why don’t they get along? What do they argue over? Asking these questions helped to create the way I wanted the story to go. Thus, the story became “A Second Chance.” However, I discovered so much more than what ever made it into the actual story.  Sometimes I get an idea from a particular element or aspect in a movie that I like. Like, maybe the movie showed the relationship between sisters and then I find that I want to write a story about sisters. Often when I come up with a story idea I piece a lot of things together to fit what I want. 

Also, what may inspire one person might not inspire someone else. I can look at a violin and see just a violin, while someone else can look at the same violin and see an entire story revolve around it. Brainstorm more ideas and piece things together that fit what you want to write about. Remember that ideas are everywhere and in everything, so keep your eyes open. Who knows, maybe tomorrow you’ll find your next novel. 

(Thank you, Maggie, for showing me how to add a GIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 🙂

What are your thoughts on this? Where do you find inspiration? For your current writing project where did you get your inspiration? If you’d like to read “A Second Chance” I can put it up on Critique Corner. Let me know in the comments. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear from you!!!! (Seriously, guys, I can’t WAIT to hear from you!!!!!!!!!!!!) 🙂

55 Comments

  • Joy Caroline

    This was a super interesting post! I feel like my inspiration is so sporadic, LOL. Sometimes I feel super inspired and sometimes I’m just like… meh. I would love to read A Second Chance! Where did such a random and interesting dream come from? My dreams are so weird, I would never be able to piece together a story from them.
    I thought your insight on just looking all around was interesting! The broken clock thing… I never thought about that before. You just gave me some really great info!

    • Katherine

      THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so happy that you found it interesting!!!!! Lol, I feel the same way sometimes about inspiration. Really?! THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!! *doing a happy dance* I’ll have to put it up soon! 🙂 Ooh, excellent question! Ok, to be honest, I have no idea.😆 I’m sure I must’ve seen of heard something that instigated my dream – I do remember that the character, Charlotte, from the movie Beyond the Mask was in that dream (but I didn’t put her in my story😆). My dreams are weird too.🙂 But, the ones that are sorta decent I use or use what I did like about them. 🙂
      Thank you so much! I didn’t think about the clock either until I was writing it in the post.😁 I’m glad you like it!

  • Addie H

    Hey, Katherine!!! This is an amazing post!! Especially the idea of writing a story based on one word. I love it!! I’m definitely going to use that tip sometime!!

    -Addie-

  • Joy Caroline

    And by the way, I forgot to say THANK YOU GUYS SO SO MUCH FOR ADVERTISING MY BLOG IN THE EMAIL. I honestly don’t know how to say thank you enough! I just want you to know I’m really really grateful for all the support!!!

    • Katherine

      You’re welcome, Joy Caroline!🙂 After all your support on TWN, I just knew I had to return the favor!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And your blog is truly AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! We are so grateful for your encouragement!!!😀 Love ya, girl!!!! <3<3<3

    • Maggie

      Aw, it was Katherine who wrote this newsletter, but I was just SO, SO, SO HAPPY THAT SHE WAS GOING TO TALK ABOUT YOUR BLOG!!!!!!!!!!! It’s a really great blog!!! THANK YOU for all the support and encouragement you’ve given to me and TWN!!!!!! We couldn’t be any more grateful for YOU!!!! <33 <33 <33 <33 (And, I'm still trying to put together along with the other gals at TWN some big post to welcome you into the blogosphere!)

      • Joy Caroline

        Thanks guys! You are both so amazing. Your comments on my blog literally make me so happy 🙂 You are seriously the greatest! It’s so kind of you to be doing so much for my new blog.

        • Katherine

          You’re welcome! Aww, you are so amazing too!!!!!!!!<3 Your comments make me soooooooooo happy too!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aww, thank you! You are so sweet!!!! You're the greatest as well!!!!! 🙂 Awww, Joy Caroline, you are soooooo sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️ We're here to support and encourage!!! 🙂

        • Maggie

          You’re ABSOLUTELY welcome, Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aw, you’re REALLY AMAZING, too!!!!! <33 Really? I'm SOOO GLAD to hear that!!!!!!! Sometimes, I worry I ramble too much at times. XD Aw, girl, I just can't with all this you're just THE SWEETEST!!!!!!!!! Of course!! TWN supports our supporters!!!! Well, at least, we should. And, your new blog is just SUPER COOL!!!!!!!!!! We HAVE TO get the word out about it!!! <33 <33 <33

  • Victoria

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post, Katherine!!! All those tips were extremely helpful especially about asking questions! That’s definitely one of the best ways to get inspiration!
    Oh, and I’d LOVE to read Second Chances, BTW! <333

    • Katherine

      You’re so welcome!!!! I am so so so happy that you liked it!!!!!!!!😀 I’m glad!! Ooh, yes, I find that asking questions is very helpful too!!!! I agree! 🙂
      YAY!!!!!!!!! That makes me so happy that you want to read it!!!!!<3 *doing a happy dance* I'll get it up on Critique Corner soon.

    • Katherine

      Hi, Shanessa!!! ❤️❤️❤️ I am so glad it came at just the right time. It was actually something I started putting together back in the summer but I didn’t finish it until now. God works everything out in His timing. I’m so glad it helped!!! Love hearing from ya, girl!!! <3

  • Maggie

    Hehehe…I have introduced you to the world of GIFs, Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’re welcome for now giving you another opportunity to procrastinate for HOURS on Giphy!!!!!!!! XD

  • Ally M.J.

    When I want inspiration, it’s usually hiding in the refrigerator, eating my cheesecake. Then, when I find it, it immediately evaporates and I have to go find it again.
    The inspiration for my WIP, Blood-Red Moonlight, came from I have no idea. I created a doc on Google Drive and started slapping all my weird, half-formed mutants of novel ideas on it. BRM was the first one on there. I’m a sucker for romance and an even bigger sucker for wings. I LOOOOOOVE wings. I don’t know why. But I do. Especially in the chicken form. So eventually I came up with a dark angel-type species, made a teenage boy, made a human teenage outcast, and created a problem. Suddenly, BOOM. A fairly decent idea! *jazz hands*

    • Katherine

      XD Some of the best things are in the refrigerator!😆 Mmmm, cheesecake is so good – now I wish I had some cheesecake.😂 XD
      Awesome title!!!!!! Love it!!!!!!!! I love the moon! Haha, sometimes I forget where I get ideas too.😂 Sometimes that’s how the best ideas come is slapping things together. XD And I’m certain it’s not weird, half-formed mutant ideas. I’m sure they’re excellent ideas!!! Ooh, I love romance too!!! And wings!!! Wings are just awesome!!!!!!! I happen to really like fairy wings but I think people might judge me for that. Ooh, chicken wings are cool! That is so cool how you came up with your idea!!!!!!!! It sounds AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is it alright if I ask the name of the teen boy and teen outcast? Love hearing from you!!! *gives you cheesecake* 😁

      • Ally M.J.

        *takes cheesecake and happily eats it*
        I have a habit of making WAAAAAY too many characters. But my mains are Kai the “I’m-not-going-to-listen-to-the-author” guy…
        Kai: Because I’m not.
        And then the outcast is named Ji-Hae. She’s Korean, and the reason she’s an outcast is because there’s a mean group of girls at her school who are -not- accepting of new culture that teased her relentlessly about her accent and now she just hides in plain site.
        Ji-Hae: Nice of you to spill my life on the internet.
        Me: I aim to please.

        • Katherine

          😁
          I have that same habit too!!! Characters are my favorite – I absolutely love them!!!!!!!!!!!! Ohh, I remember Kai! I guess I didn’t realized he was the MC.😁 Love those names!!!!!!!!! COOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Poor, Ji-Hae. XD Yes, Ji-Hae, Ally here aims to please. *nods head* So, is Jala in Blood-Red Moonlight or a different novel?

          • Ally M.J.

            Jala was in a different story, yes. I’m still working on it, buuuuuuuuut I’m bad at the whole “Finishing the novel” thing XD.

            • Katherine

              Oh, cool!!!! Thank you for answering!!!! XD I’m bad at finishing my novels too. That’s probably why I got three novels going on at once and one of them I started three years ago. XD

  • Jane

    This was so helpful!!!!! I really liked your example with the word “princess”. Now I have all these ideas for “princess” themed books in my head.
    Hmm, I find a lot of inspiration in music, dance, movies, and other books. For example, in my current story, I got a lot of inspiration from the movie Enola. (Although, I’m kinda concerned that my bad guy is to much like Bevin Conner from the false Princes)
    I would love to read “A Second Chance” if you put it up!!! It sounds very interesting!!
    Thank you for doing this post!!!!!!!! It was very helpful!!!!!! 🙂

    • Katherine

      Hi, Jane!!! I’m so glad it was helpful!!!!!!! That makes me sooo happy!!!!!!!!!!! Really?! I’m so glad you like it!!!!! To be honest, I was worried that the “princess” thing wasn’t very good, but I am so thrilled that you liked it!!!!!!!!! I’m glad it was able to inspire you!😀 If there is any princess ideas you wanna share, I’d love to hear it! 🙂
      So cool!!!! Ooh, I love dance!!!❤️ Those are great places to get ideas!!!! Awesome!!!!!! XD I’ve noticed the The False Prince is influencing my writing too!!!! That book was just so good!
      Really?! Ah, THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll put it up on Critique Corner soon!!! Thank you so much!!!
      Thank you!!!!!!! I’m so glad it was helpful!!!!!! I was very excited about posting it. 🙂

    • Maggie

      *gasp* I’VE BEEN WORRYING THAT THE VILLAIN IN INTO THE LAMP IS TOO MUCH LIKE BEVIN CONNER, TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hehehe…what’re we going to do?

  • Jane

    Yes it was very helpful!!!!!!! No, the “princess” think was very good! I was thinking it would be cool to have a girl who dons’t like being a princess at a young age. Then when the royal family goes on a trip, they get attacked by bandits (or something) the princess is taken by the bandits and ends up getting raised by them.
    We skip ahead to when shes 14-15ish, and she ends up remembering who her family was while robbing a wagon and seeing her families royal seal on something. After this she meets a nice boy (in someway that I have yet to come up with). Then she finds some plot to kill the king and queen, so she helps disable the plan from the inside.
    but she doesn’t reunite with her family after this, instead staying with the bandit’s and helping save the kingdom from the inside of the group of bandits.
    I have to be honest with you, I just came up with that on the spot. Although, I think it sounds like a pretty good idea. See? Your post is already becoming helpful!!!
    Dancing is the best (besides writing) I’ve only done dance class one year but I’ve been dancing since before I could walk (If your wondering how that possible, my mom would hold me and dance around the house with me in her arms)
    YES!!!! The false prince just keeps popping up in my head! when I’m writing!!! Ugh!! Jarron why did you have to have such a great story!!!XD
    I’m so glad you did the post!!! I really enjoyed reading it!! 🙂 <33

    • Katherine

      Thank you so much!!! Oooh, what a fantabulous idea!!!!!!!!!! I think it is very unique with the princess being raised be bandits!!!!!!!!! Very creative!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!❤️ Sounds like this princess will be a very strong heroine!!!!!🙂😉 Sometimes I come up with ideas on the spot too!!!😉 Yes, the idea is genius!!! Aw, thank you!😊 That means a lot to me!
      I know right??!!! Ooh, that’s so cool that you’ve taken dance class!!! I’ve taken dance lesson all my life. XD I dance around the house all the time and most of the time in a crazy way. XD
      I know, I’m the same!😁 lol! Yes, Jaron, why did you have to have such an amazing story?😂 Oh, I know – to invade our lives. XD
      THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! 🙂 <3

  • Joy Caroline

    Hey guys! I am literally SO sorry about this, but I changed my site name not knowing what WordPress would do! *groaning
    http://www.joycaroline.wordpress.com is the new site name. If you go to the old site name, it will say the blog’s been deleted !!!! All my posts are still up, just the site name has changed.
    I feel so bad about this because you guys sent out that email with the link to my website, but it won’t work anymore 🙁

  • Trixie

    Wow that’s really interesting. I totally agree!! Haha love the gifs as always!!!! I would definitely like to read “ A Second Chance.” Last night I was actually struck with inspiration for a story. The main idea is a group of middle schoolers go on a camping trip, but the teachers get kidnapped and it’s up to the kids to save the teachers.Anyways, This really helps thanks for posting it!!!!!!!

    • Katherine

      THANK YOU SO MUCH, TRIXIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 Thank you - I'm so glad you love them!!!!!!! Aw, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT MAKES ME SOOOOOO HAPPY THAT YOU WANT TO READ MY STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!😀❤️😀❤️ I'll get it up soon on Critique Corner. Ooh, what a genius idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love it!!!!!!!!! Aww, I'm so glad my post came at just the right time to help you!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, girl!<333 Keep imagining!😉(ooh, that should be my catch phrase or something.😂)

    • Maggie

      *mouth-drops* WHAT??!! First, GREAT STORY IDEA! Second, THE FIRST NOVEL I EVER COMPLETED ALMOST HAD THE EXACT SAME STORYLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great minds think alike, I supposed! 😃 Wishing you the best of luck on your writing! YOU CAN DO THIS, GGGGIIIIRRRRLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! *waving pom poms and giving you motivational chocolate* 🍫😆

  • Ally M.J.

    I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY MADE MY CHARACTERS KISS! *disco party* *streamers* *cake* *plums* *confetti* *dancing*
    Kai: …
    Ji-Hae: …
    Kai: Have you been hiding behind that tree the entire time?
    Me: YEP.
    Ji-Hae: Hide me.

    • Maggie

      YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT’S JUST SOOO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *throws out party streamers and passes you your favorite kind of cake* WHOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I KNEW you could do it all along!!! (Ignore the fact that I just found out you were writing that scene. XD)

  • Trixie

    Awwww thanks Maggie and Katherine!!!!!! It really helps!!!! The motivational chocolate was yummy!!! That should totally be your catchphrase!!!!!

    • Maggie

      YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aaah, YES, chocolate is ALWAYS yummy!!!!!! XD Oooh, GREAT IDEA!!! That should TOTALLY be Katherine’s catchphrase! Trixie, you’re a GENIUS I tell you!!!!!! 🙂

  • Jen

    This was a GREAT post, Katherine!!! (So sorry it took me like, a hundred years to read it. 🙁 Everything has just been super crazy lately and I just don’t seem to have any time for all the things.) I think your story is already up on Critique Corner, so I’ll be sure and check that out as soon as I can! I’m really excited to read your story!!! 😀 And, yes, inspiration is everywhere, but you have to know how to look for it. I can be staring out the window as we drive by a patch of woods and suddenly have a story idea of two brothers on the run from the murderer who killed their father. Or be watching a movie and go, hey, I like that certain thing, let’s see how I can twist it around. My favourite place for inspiration, though, is Pinterest. That place is amazing and addicting. I absolutely love creating storyboards for my WIPs. ^_^

    • Katherine

      Thank you so much, Jen!!!!😀 It’s alright. I hope the craziness dies down soon. Don’t stress. I pray that God will help you through the craziness of life. Yay!!! I hope you like it!!! So, true! Sometimes I purposefully go looking for inspiration. It is so amazing how we get inspiration! Two brothers on the run from a murderer sounds very intriguing! I do that too with movies sometimes!🙂 Oh, yes, Pinterest seems so cool!!!! I really need to get a Pinterest account!!!! It’s similar to Wakelet. Ooh, creating storyboards sounds sooo cool!!!!!! I should try that with my WIP sometime!

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