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How To Be Inspired by the World Around You

The world isn’t just your playground – it’s your source of inspiration!

Perhaps you’ve been sitting with a bland manuscript, that’s drowning in over-used tropes, and environments and characters that aren’t all that different from those written before them. Maybe your editor is all up in your grill about being “unique” and telling you to stop trying to be like your favourite writer; to become your own favourite writer.

It brings about the question: how do you make your next novel unique? How do you take the things you see, hear and feel every day, and make it into a masterpiece? Well, we’re here to share the secret with you; the writer’s hidden box of literature treasure…

Here’s how to get inspired by the world around you!


The setting for your novel can make a tremendous impact on how your readers envision the world of your book. You may be tempted to pick a well-known bustling city somewhere in America, but this can be a mistake – it’s difficult to write about that which is unknown. If you’ve never physically been there, the environment in your story can lack a certain authenticity, not to mention it may have glaring inconsistencies and inaccuracies!

So, take a look out your window, go for a drive, and write about your own area, your own city’s buildings, and environments. If you really want to write about a place you’ve never been to yourself, we suggest talking to a friend who’s actually been there, and taking the time to do a LOT of research. Take it from us, your own city can be a lot more interesting than you think! Just open your eyes.

Characters and Plot

Your characters are important because they’re the ones driving the plot, so you have to do right by them! Their names, however, are not going to impact the story too much (unless we’re talking a dystopian novel, or science fiction, where sometimes the name is important for origin purposes!). What does matter are the personalities of your characters; the way they react to the world around them; their backgrounds; sense of morality; and whether they develop in a satisfying way.

Take our advice: you surround yourself with certain people, friends and family for a reason. And you like them, right? So, pay attention to their mannerisms; how they see life; the way their minds work, and their own character growth. Then incorporate this into your own writing! This includes the things that happen to them, and the stories of their lives (that’s story plot gold!). We don’t mean you should copy them exactly, but use them for inspiration. As they say, you’ve got to write what you know!

Get Out of There!

Finally, if all else fails, and the pages aren’t writing themselves, take yourself out of your writing environment. Leave that comfortable chair and get out there! Observe the people you pass; listen to bits of conversation from others in a crowded coffee shop; or simply pay attention to the beauty around you. There’s so much value in everything around us – you just need to open your eyes and notice it. When you get inspired, stop wherever you are, and write it down immediately (even if you don’t keep a notebook handy, jot it down on your phone).

And if you aren’t quite feeling the motivation to put pen to paper just yet, head on over to the Room206 social media pages for some inspiration!

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