How to Find Inspiration For Your Writing | Samantha Carder-Wicker | Skillshare

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How to Find Inspiration For Your Writing

teacher avatar Samantha Carder-Wicker, Writer and Wolf enthusiast

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Rereading and Revisiting

    • 3. Creative Sleep and Dream Journaling

    • 4. People Watching

    • 5. Interviewing

    • 6. Leaving it to Chance

    • 7. Prompts

    • 8. Playlists

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class

As writers, we know when our creativity is taking a nose dive into writer's block or is just becoming a small trickle that's hard to work with. In this class, we will go over some tips and tricks to get those creative ideas started again or to find new ideas when yours aren't there. Some may be a bit odd, some impossible, but there is something here to help you. 

Some resources that I will discuss in this class:

Story Cubes


Name Generators

Prompt Generators

Prompt Books: 500 Writing Prompts, Complete the Story, 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Meet Your Teacher

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Samantha Carder-Wicker

Writer and Wolf enthusiast


Related Skills

Creative Writing Creative

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1. Introduction: you know, and welcome to the school share costs on how to find inspiration for your writing. My name's Sam and I have a writer. I'm hoping that this class will help you get over your writer's block or get your creative juices flowing again, or just defined some ideas for your writing. Now this class can be used for other artistic mediums, but we're mostly going to be focusing on writers in finding ideas for the written word. Some of the ideas are as follows that we're going to cover, revisiting or reading, sleeping on it or a dream journaling people watching, leaving it all the chance. Interviews, playlists and props. Now, at the end of this class, we are gonna have three projects that you can choose from, and one of them is going to be creating three seen outlines or plot points, creating five questions and answers and creating a list music wised, read, rise or watch your eyes. If the sales interesting to you, stay tuned and take the class and we'll see you in a moment. Uh, 2. Rereading and Revisiting: all right. Our first I did, in order to get your creative juices flowing, is going to be re reading or revisiting your work. Now, this can be the work that you have currently, or it can be some of your older stuff. I know I've been writing since I was about 10 and it helps me kind of get my creative juices flowing again. Whenever I go back and read some of the things that I wrote back, it helps me see how much I've grown. And also some of those audience that I had back in are still pretty good, so I can rewrite home. I can make them better. Maybe you have some there too. If you're working on your work in progress and you want to re read it, that can also give you ideas of where your characters or where your work has been and help refresh your memory on where you want to go. If you're a pensar, that can help out a lot. Um, I'm kind of ah, in between Ah pensar and a plodder. Now what a panzer is is a a writer that does not plot. They just kind of go with the flow and get everything going, but usually they did pretty good. Now, if you're a plotter with re reading and everything, it can just help refresh your memory as to where you're at and what plot points that you've covered and what plot points you might need to flesh out a little bit more. In order to get the story going again, it creates a better understanding of your reader. Whenever you re read or revisit your work, you become your reader so you can see what your readers might be expecting of your work. And therefore it can reformulate your plot or refresher plot in your drive in your mind. This is a great way to just give the gears turning again, especially if you've just taken a break. You're coming back to it after a hectic work week and you're just your brains just tired way get that way sometimes 3. Creative Sleep and Dream Journaling: This could be a little weird to some people that a lot of people find this really natural and a great way to get the creative juices flowing again. With reflecting on your work, you can go back to your plot in read your plot points re jer. Your why? On why you wanted to create this project in Get back into the love of your project. It refreshes your memory when you reflect on something before right before you go to bed, your brain is already thinking on it. You create that desire to solve the problem that you have right before you go to bed. Now, this can create some dreams that can help you move your plot forward movie a story forward , give you some more ideas on it. Hopefully, you know, um, I know a lot of times whenever we're reading a boat aground before bed, sometimes our dreams can be upon that book or some of the characters or some of the aspects of that. But so hopefully, by reflecting upon your work right before you go to bed, your subconscious mind continues to work on the problems that you have in your creative process. and will help you get through it. Now, before you go to sleep, make sure you have a way to write down or record. What? What has happened in your dream when you wake up? I know a lot of us are sure that. Oh, well, remember that. Not really. Don't. Don't take that chance. Okay. Have a notebook with a pin next to your bed or recorded on your phone. You can always have a large notebook beside your bed so you can write kind of willy nilly and just clean it up later. When I like to use is either a legal pad or one of the large notebooks like this that I got from like office. Max. You see how big the pages are? Haven't really started anything in it. But you can right all over it in the dark and not have to worry about running over something. Hear something like that. And it does have a little tab. Little ribbon toe where you can even in your sleep, you can flip over to a clean page. No. So that's an idea. But don't rely on your memory. Ah, lot of times, you know, after we go back to sleep, Will you continue dreaming? And we may remember those dreams more than we do the dreams that we can use to, uh, add to our project for those of the U that read it. Stephen King's a more of the craft. He talks about something he calls creative sleep. Ah, it's a sleep pattern recognition that connects the dots between, like point A and point seeing your plot. And he actually does that a lot, apparently because when your sleep, your imagination work still. So even though your imagination might not work while you're awake and you're staring at a blank page, it will work while you sleep. So keep that in mind. Keep something that will help you record those dreams and those ideas by you at all times. It's also a good idea to do it while you're awake, too. 4. People Watching: another way to get ideas for your writing is to people. Watch. Now you have to do this actively. You can't just sit in the park and kind of have Ah, lazy day of chill. Okay. You really need to pay attention to dialogue and mannerisms and fashion and how they talk to one another that the different tones also pick up on smells and sounds of the area that you're people watching in. Because then you can add it to your own work. When you pay attention to this, this is this is real life. It makes your work more realistic. And it might get your brain more attached Your work so that your brain will continue. Teoh create for you When your people watching you can go to a park or mall or a shopping center. Uh, bowl games you need only but even even family gatherings. Okay? They're great for people watching. Just don't get bored with it. Go to different places because different places air gonna have different people. And your characters are different people. OK, so at the mall, you know, one area is the food court. Ah, lot of people are grumpier when they're hungrier, so keep that in mind. Also, the food court is going to be really noisy. It's going to be really active, too, and people are there for just a certain thing. So once you're done at the food court, maybe you want to go sit on the bench that is across from a jewelry store because you're gonna have a different set of people shopping at a jewelry store and talking amongst each other. Then you would in front of a store, say, like hot topic or journeys so that will help you flush out your characters, make them more realistic and make them more relatable so that you could write them easier body language. You're going to find different kinds of body language and different fashions in the different places you go. Most people where more active, where when they're at parks or a games than they would say, the mull fashion or paying attention to fashion paying attention. Teoh. How people talk to one another is going to be a great way to flush out your characters to, and it's going to give you an idea for new characters, possibly as well that can help you move your plot forward or give you ideas from new stories 5. Interviewing: uh, now we're going to go over an interview. Now you can create this interview for a character that you have in your story or for your ideal reader. Interviewing a character that you have in your story needs to be a little bit deeper than what's your favorite color. Here is your favorite person. You need to delve a little bit deeper in order to get to the core of what your character is doing in your store. It was their drive was their desires. Why do they react to this situation this way and another situation another way. So some of the questions that you can ask a character is when they were born did their moment. I'd want them. A question like that can have into some repercussions in some subconscious things that make your character unique. Now these things can drive the plot forward because it forms the way your character thinks . The way your character reacts, what your character wants. So keep that in mind. Another few deeper questions can be How were you raised? What was the most horrifying experience that you had in your entire life? What is your greatest fear? Some of those things can help shape what your character wants in the story and therefore drive it forward. An interview for your ideal reader, you can be your reader in Interview Yourself as in the mind of the reader. But ah, highly suggest finding one of your beta readers, maybe, or one of your friends to interview. I know a lot of my friends, you know, they read different genres than what are right. You know, some of them read romance. Now I do have romance and some plots so I can interview that friend to see what she wants in a story. And this can help me generate ideas for the romantic subplot that I have in my fantasy. Use that to your advantage. Grab a friend O R. Maybe someone in some of the writing communities that you have and ask them as a reader. What do they want in a story in your genre? You know, what kind of world are they expecting, You know, Do they want a lot of world building? Do they not? What kind of characters are they looking for? What kind of history do they want in a romance or in the fantasy or in the action, but tropes do they hate or love? And this can help you flesh out your own ideas or even backtrack a little bit to clean up your story so that it can have a better flow going forward. 6. Leaving it to Chance: now here is the fun one. At least I think it's fun. A lot of people think this is scary. So this is the part of the class where we go over chance. You might have plenty of ideas. You know, you don't really have a problem with creating ideas for your story, but you're not exactly sure which way he wants to go, so you can leave it up to chance. This way you can use a dice, you know, a sign and idea per number. You can create a poll for your friends or fans and see what they want to see in your book or your short story or poem. You can also put these ideas in a randomizer on the website. Now. I'm gonna have a link to a few of these things in the about page on this on this class. So check that out, OK, And you can also flip a coin. You know, if you have a character literally standing at a crossroads roads and they can go down the straight path or the curvy path, flip a coin. Another thing that has helped me out a lot is called story cues. I've got a grow bag right here. You can find him on Amazon and in some bookstores. But these little guys our need because they have different pictures on each side of the dice. Seeing yellow rice bowl there you got. What is that? Nomura. But rolling things like story cubes can help you generate an idea for a story. It's kind of like a prompt, which we're going to cover in the next section of this class. It can create a prompt for you. Now. These story cubes, they do have, um, different categories like this one is voyages, and there is just a regular pack of story cubes like this one right here. I think this is the original pack that first came out, and what it has is this different little things. You've got little alien head and you know, little fireplaces. There's even a little castle and stuff like that on there. Again, I'll leave the link. Teoh. At least try to link up to the website so you could do your own research. These air, great little ideas, little little idea generators and story cubes and in dice, especially if you come up with ideas on the fly and you hadn't really fleshed them out. And you're not sure. Which one do you want to go with? Just go ahead and roll a dice or flip a coin and go from there. Oh! 7. Prompts: the ah. Next way Teoh, find out is over. Get your creative juices flowing again. Is he used props? Cross can be another little scary thing because you don't have full control, I guess is the way that it's scary. It's It's entering a new idea that you did not come up with on your own into your your work . Now, while this is scary, it can be very hopeful as well. Nikkan News prompts to flesh out a character or build up a scene, or just to write something completely new that's based off of that prompt. In order to get your brain toe working again, you can find the prompts on. There is a ton of websites. There is also prompts generators and groups on Facebook. There's some on Twitter. I believe there's like hashtag prompts were fantasy prompts for action and things like that . If you're if you're on Twitter and you can follow some of those hashtags, there are problems everywhere Now. The story cubes that were in the chance section can also be prompt generators. You can pick out 23 dice and roll, um, and right, based upon the images that you rolled there are also named generators and fantasy. Any generators that you can use four prompts is well, and I'm going to list some of those in the about page for you to check out, and hopefully you can find some great ideas off of there. Now when I like to use our some of the prompt books that you can find on Amazon or at your local bookstore, some of them are things like this that complete the story. Um, you need that you have just complete sentences, a paragraph or two that you can continue to write. This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing in, especially after you've taken a break from writing, and you just need to kick start. But you don't necessarily want to start out on your own project. You want Teoh. Make sure that you're up to par, so to speak. So complete the story prompts are awesome for that. Another one. It can be, Ah, creative Writer's notebook. Now in here are a lot of quotes and things that could help inspire you. And there's also some more prompts that you know some of the authors have used or challenging you to do. And again you can find it on Amazon are at some of your local bookstores 8. Playlists: a lot, right? Last but not least, we have music, movies and books at our fingertips at all times creating a playlist or a reading list or a watch list that will help you get back into the mance set. That you need to be in order to write is a great way. Teoh get you back where you need to be. You can use different APS for music was such a Spotify. I believe I heart radio has a playlist now that you can add, um, Windows. I mean, there is. There's a ton of acts out there that you can use in order to create your playlists. Now there are playlist that you can said for different characters, different settings, different scenes, um, music that you can use for different moods that you have to generate in your book. Create playlists for all of them. I have playlists for each character, and I also have a playlist for each mood that is going to be in that book. I also have playlists for different areas of my world because taking movie or a TV show, for example, you don't want happy go looking music playing while you're in a crypt. Okay, so keep that in mind. So music has a lot of benefits for our creatives. Like us. It relaxes you. It gets your body into the flow of that music and into creating same four, creating a reading list. Now, I'm not giving you permission to copy. Okay, Do that. All right? Just just just don't just don't go there. Now. Creating our reading list can help you get back into the mindset that you need to be. If you're writing a fantasy book, maybe you need to read of fantasy. You know, read game of Thrones or something like that. Something even more classic. Like Lord of the Rings. Okay, it will help you build up a pros. And it might give you ideas for obstacles that your characters can face and read how they met the Balrog in the mines of Moria. And if your character was faced with a balrog, how would they react? Get to thinking on that. Read like a writer. Don't read like a reader whenever you're reading on your reading list to help you inspire. Okay? See how they write their pros, how they describe all the scenes, how their characters reacted what their characters look like and imitate it. If it's one of your favorites, if it's not, how can you rewrite it toe where it becomes one of your favorites? That's how you need to read as a as a writer. Whenever you create your reading lists the same thing with movies or TV shows. Now this can be a little bit time consuming, along with the the books and the music play list. This isn't going to be an easy one minute fix. Okay, uh, except for maybe music, you know, you can just set it to play and you can get the creative juices flowing now with TV shows and movies. Don't get completely lost. You do have to write. Okay, maybe he's give us the visual and audible aspect of the of creative. Okay, it helps you see what a writer has come up with on the screen. It can help you visualize your own work in the same way. So pick a movie or TV show that you can relate to your work or that can help you get into the mindset of where you need to be in order to create more of your work, I will advise you. Don't pick a TV show that's going to be, you know, 20 seasons long. If you do, just watch the first couple of seasons or pick some of the best episodes. You know. Do you do your research and see which ever SOS can relate more to your work or where your obstacle is in your story? 9. Conclusion: uh, wear at the end of my friends. Thank you for hanging out with me, and I hope that this class has helped you find inspiration for your riding. Now I want to go over earthy projects that you can do for this class. You can choose one of, um unless you're a go getter. Like I said before, the first project is creating three seen outlines or three plot points that will help your work and a little bit of description if you want to. The next project is writing out three questions and answers as an interview for your character or for your ideal reader. Now again, this needs to help you move your story forward or create a new story. OK, it can't be was your favorite color or was your favorite character in this show. And the last and probably the most difficult is creating lists. Now, if you're going to do music, I want you to create a new playlist for of at least 20 songs. All right, this is to help you get that helps you get into the mindset of your character or your story for your problem, or create a list of two books that you're going to read that's going to help you get in the mindset again. That's going to inspire you two movies or two TV shows that's going to do the same thing as the books were looking for. Inspiration here. Not necessarily how you can copy someone. Okay, hopefully, these will help. I look forward to seeing your projects. And if you have any questions, feel free to post him in a discussion. Thank you for hanging out with me.