Writing a story takes a lot of time, effort, and motivation. It takes allowing the characters to grow in your mind, imagining the type of setting/s you’ll be placing them in, and deciding where you want the book to begin, go, and end.
As I’ve found through the planning process of my own current novel, which has consumed all of my creative writing energy for the past couple of years, writing a historical fiction novel, in particular, is even harder to plan and write than other genres, in my opinion. There’s certainly much more research involved, as historical fiction is typically based around something that really happened, to some extent!
So the question is, how does one stay inspired on the path of planning and writing a historical fiction novel? That’s what I’ll be talking about today, and I hope that I’ll be able to inspire you … to stay inspired in your writing!
1. Visit your local library. Look at books on the time period/historical event you’re basing your story around, then read the parts that interest you. Make sure to take notes! Or, if you prefer, take some books home to look at later. In Georgia, we have a ton of libraries, and the majority of them are part of the Georgia Pines Library System. That means that I can put books on hold from all over the state, as well as visit new libraries and have all my books checked out on the same card! It’s pretty awesome, and I appreciate how many libraries I’ve been able to go to over the years. And when it comes to story research, it’s very helpful to have multiple library selections!
2. Browse online articles. I much prefer going to the library to find my inspiration, although I must say, it is extremely helpful to have hundreds of thousands of website pages available for free on a huge variety of topics! You can look up very specific things and instantly find the type of information you’re looking for; at the library, it takes a bit more digging (which I honestly enjoy).
3. Make a story board on Pinterest. I’ve made these for multiple novels that I’ve been working on over the past couple of years! However, I have found that, for myself, at least, they’re helpful in theory; I have yet to finish writing a book that I had a storyboard for. It’s very strange. Although I have been struggling to complete a book since 2014 … oh, the sad life of a writer.
4. Keep a notebook full of novel inspiration. As a matter of fact, keep two notebooks; one for research notes and structured story ideas and character profiles, and another for when ideas just come to you! This can be anything from a character trait, to an exciting scene, to a killer opening line. Even if it seems crazy when it pops into your head, don’t doubt the power it can have in your novel!
Those are my tips to stay inspired! Did any of them help you?
What are your tips?
Do YOU have any ideas on keeping the inspiration coming when writing a novel? Comment down below!