Inspiration and Imaginations

Inspiration is amazing, isn't it? You hear, see or smell something and the next thing, BOOM! You've got a workable idea cooking away in your head.

Everyone's imaginations work differently.  Mine is like a cinema in my head; I watch it all playing out as I write it down.  I'm very curious to know how other people imagine the things they write.

But getting back to inspiration, we've all got our own ways to get going.  I thought I'd share some of my ways in the hope it might help your muses.


I'll use anything that gets my imagination going, but my iPod is dominated by orchestral soundtracks from films, television programmes and videogames.  They tend to cover a broad range of emotions and can really help me engage with whatever mood the scene needs.  I've set up numerous playlists to help create the atmosphere various chapters require.  I also have playlists for my characters.

My hard-working iPod


I try to take my own photos of things that inspire me to write, but I also use sites like flickr and Deviant Art to find inspiring images (be aware that both these sites contain images inappropriate for the under-18s.  Search carefully).  The best thing about finding real-world images is you can have a very clear idea of where the action is set, even if what you're writing is set in a fantasy world.  You can search for specific images depending on what you're writing.  But don't limit yourself: any image can be inspiring if you think about it:

What are these people waiting for? What about the person with their hood up; are they hiding from someone? Is this image the last moment of calm before something terrible happens?

Try looking for the most ordinary photo you can find and see what kind of story you can create out of it.  You never know what you might come up with!


If you get stuck, get away from your own work and read a good book.  No, you are not stealing ideas just by reading someone else's work (unless you are lifting directly from another's writing, it's called plagiarism, quit it!) so sit back, read a good book and remember why you love to write.  Bookshops get me writing too, because I'd love to see my book on their shelves.  Don't be afraid to take time out and read.  It's a great way to remind yourself of your own genre and your own target audience, but I'll get to that another day.

An armful of favourites

Sticking With The Genre 

I'm primarily an action/adventure writer, so I read books and watch films and television programmes that are of that genre.  You can do the same with your chosen genre.  It'll keep you going and remind you what audiences will expect.

Getting Out 

Get out of the house, clear your head and get inspired by the world around you.  Even if you're just going out for coffee, being in a different location may help you work because you've removed yourself from other distractions.  Just make sure you take a notebook to write in!

Unexpected snow days are useful too


I love steam trains and the romance of their lost era.  One day I'll get around to writing a story set in the age of steam or perhaps the imaginary world of steampunk.  Quaint little compartments, plush chairs, sliding doors, slam doors, chugging steam engine... aaaaaaah!  But you, lovely reader, probably don't share my passion.

What's not to love?!

My point is, stick with what interests you.  If you're bored of what you're writing, your readers will doze off too. 

So, those are most of the ways I get inspired.  There are others, like responding to prompts or taking requests, but I'll get to those another day.  I'm really curious about how other people get inspired and how they imagine what they're writing, so feel free to share!

See you next time!


  1. I love this! I'm the same as you - when I'm writing something I see it in my head like a film. Sometimes I have to sit back and let it play out in my head before I write it down.

    I find that I'm most inspired by images. I love to look at an image and imagine where it is and what is happening there. Or, as you suggest, I love to notice someone or something when I'm out and imagine their life story or situation. But music does it for me too!

    Is there any song in particular that always makes you think of your novel?

  2. Laura:

    There's not so much one song as a bunch that remind me of different moments or each character.

    Photos are amazing, and I love how we could all look at one photo and come up with something completely different.


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