Off-line Things for Writer Inspiration

Welcome back to Motivational Monday!

In a world so full of high-tech things, I thought I’d like to take a step down and talk about what writers can do for inspiration that are low-to-no-tech.

The first is to read in the genre you’re writing in.  Jot down clever phrases and descriptions.  Note how an author you like works her characters.  And when you read something you don’t like, ask yourself, “Why?”  What is it that bothers you about the book?  Are the characters flat?  Is the book lacking description–or has too much description?  Take notes, so you know what to do, and not to do, when you’re writing your own book.

The second non-tech thing is going to a public place–a mall, coffee shop, airport waiting area, etc.– and people watch.  Jot down notes about mannerisms.  Listen to the cadence of their speech,  which will help you write dialogue.  (Note:  Don’t stare too intently, or Security will be all over you.  LOL!)

The third thing that’s kind of fun, is to cut out or copy pictures of your characters and scenery from magazines or photographs.  I have my whole cast of major characters for each of the 3 series I write.  (I paste the pictures onto card stock, then put them in clear plastic sheet protectors.)  It really helps when I’m trying to describe my characters to my readers.  And when I was writing Hooked on a Cold Case, I went to our tiny, local cemetery and took pictures of unusual grave sites.  I posted these on my office bulletin board for inspiration.

Another thing you can do, and I mentioned this several weeks ago, is look at book covers and titles in your genre.  These can spark ideas, big time!  Ask friends what they’re reading.  Get ideas from them.  You never know where your next book idea will come from.  We have a weekly newspaper up here, with a Sheriff’s Log in it.  Talk about inspiration!

So, there you go.  All sorts of fun stuff to do that doesn’t require a computer or the internet.  We’re on the computer enough, writing, and sometimes it’s a good idea to get back into the “real world,” and look at things that are right under our noses.

Happy Reading and Writing to you all,


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