A great writer wrote, “I wait for the muse, who thankfully shows up every morning at nine o’ clock.” Good for him! But sometimes the tank is just empty, and then what do you? Sitting in front of a computer waiting for inspiration is a hard way to make the process any smoother. A better approach is to have preplanned strategies in place so that when you’re feeling uninspired, you can reach for a handy tool to get you going.
Inspiration occurs when it’s stimulated so here are three suggestions to get you going.
1. Do research.
Find out more about the mechanics of your story. If your character is a plumber, find out what a plumber does. If you have an interesting location, explore its history.
2. Watch inspiring movies and/or TV shows.
I always have something to watch that inspires me. Some favorites include the films, Moonstruckand Love Actually, and the TV shows, Cheers and Frasier.
3. Use real life events.
My friend, Alexandra Klausner, who’s a producer and reporter for the NY Post wrote an article that inspired a new story idea. Here’s her synopsis:
Two Catholic school nuns with a bad gambling habit stole nearly half a million dollars from the school to spend at Vegas casinos and take lavish trips. The sisters managed to get away with their scheme for at least a decade – that is until a routine audit tipped employees off to their sinful pursuits. Luckily for the nuns, the Archdiocese chose salvation over the slammer.
You see? Real life transformed into an idea for a film. This could be a really funny comedy, or a darkly tragic one.
The key here is to see story possibilities everywhere and keep them handy when the muse doesn’t show up.
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz