31 Days to Surviving NaNoWriMo - Finding Inspiration and Writing What You Know

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I didn't get around to posting yesterday (I was babysitting, then I got sucked into Skyrim), but today's topics are pretty closely woven, so I decided to do a 2-for-1 post to cover days 20 and 21.

-Find inspiration in your every day life.  I actually got the inspiration for my novel while playing Oblivion (Skyrim's predecessor, for those of you with zero interest in video games).  What started as a spark of inspiration started to spread into a forest fire that could engulf the Great Forest! (A little Oblivion humor for you).  Inspiration can come from so many places.  I have like five novels I want to write just based on songs I love.  You can become inspired by the way a sporting event plays out, or by a conversation you overhear on the bus.  Carry a notebook with you everywhere so you can jot down any ideas you may come across.

-Write what you know.  This has been said for years, but it's true.  Most writers put bits of themselves into their writing whether they know it or not.  It's easier to write things you know more about.  If you're someone who's spent a lot of time dealing with insecurity, write an insecure character.  If you've loved living in the big city your whole life, why not try setting your story in an urban setting?  If you're new to novel writing and want to write in first person, it's usually easier to write a character with the same sex as you.  Maybe you'll want to include one of your own problems as a plot device, or put your cat into a scene.  There are so many things you can take from your life to make your novel just that much better (as a bonus, people in general tend to enjoy talking about themselves, so it might be easier to have better writing on things you have a bit more passion for, like your own life).

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