There’s nothing worse than wanting to write and having nothing to say. I have a great idea for a novel, the first few chapters write themselves, then … nothing. It’s not writer’s block, it’s plot block.
First, let’s differentiate. Writer’s block is when you know where the story is going, but you can’t put the words on paper. Lack of inspiration, however, is when you don’t even know what’s going to happen next. If you have writer’s block, you can read my tips here at The Dabbling Mum. If you have plot block, you need more than those tips. It’s time to get inspired!
So, what inspires your story? Another good story! But how do you keep your plot from becoming cliche? My suggestion: bust out of your genre.
As a writer of contemporary romance it would be easy to read other contemporary romances to troll for ideas, but then I’m copying other stories instead of creating my own. If I want to write a truly unique story (and I DO!) then I need to look for inspiration in other places. Here are some of my favorite ways:
1. Other Genre Movies/Books: Action adventure, sci-fi, fantasy – great plots that have nothing to do with contemporary romance.
2. Obituaries: Slightly morbid, but full of ideas. Well written obits tell amazing life stories, providing an endless supply of plot ideas.
3. Current Affairs: Whether it’s the local news, TMZ, or a weekly paper, there’s an endless supply of true stories that can inspire any plot.
After you’ve read through these options, put them together. See where it goes. You could combine a half dozen elements or none at all – you’re just looking for inspiration. Give it a try!