Read, Write, Get Inspired

Posted on July 26, 2019

by April S

Let me just say that writing is not always easy. Sometimes the ideas and words flow effortlessly, but other times it’s a real struggle to write even the most basic piece. Take blogging as an example. Writing a blog post sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? You get an idea, sit down at a computer and type out words to convey a certain message, right? Yes, kind of, but there’s more to it than that. Blog posts should speak to the reader in some way. They should be interesting, include a hook of some kind to pull the reader in and prompt them to continue reading and not just move onto another website. Also, you want readers to come back and read your next blog post and read other “related” content. If the post doesn’t hit the mark – you’ve just lost the reader – they’ll move on to something else in the blink of an eye.

While this particular blog post isn’t specifically about writing a blog post, the concepts to follow in other types of writing (like writing a novel) are pretty similar. Readers want to read something good, compelling or interesting. And writers need to think about ways to hit the right mark. It’s important to visualize what the characters, storylines, scenes and settings will look like to the reader. After all, you want to pull them in and keep them hooked, don’t you? And so, how do you do that? You can find inspiration in a myriad of ways. Here are just a few …

3 Writing Tips to Live By

Tip 1: Read

Read, read and read some more. By reading extensively you’re bound to learn a lot. And by reading a variety of genres (fiction, sci-fi, nonfiction and everything in between) you’re sure to find inspiration for compelling and memorable storylines.

Further Reading

Why Writers Should Read Nonfiction

3 Reasons Writers Read Books

Tip 2: Write

Write often and use descriptive language. By using descriptive language you’ll pull the reader into the story and keep them engaged or motivated to keep reading. You want to paint a picture, set the scene and illustrate a sense of place. And commit to writing often to be successful (like it’s your job).

Further Reading

Writing Descriptive Sentences: 6 Simple Rules

Four Tips for Improving Your Story’s Descriptive Language

Tip 3: Get Inspired

Observe the environment around you to find inspiration. Even if things seem fairly mundane, people watching can spark creative ideas. And those ideas may lead to a story or two.

Further Reading

The Power of Observation: How to Observe and Improve Your Writing

Discover The Basic Elements of Setting In a Story

This is part of a series of blog posts that focus on various elements of writing. Each post offers tips and resources on everything from developing memorable storylines to creating unique characters to developing effective plots. They’re specifically designed to support aspiring and seasoned writers in our community. We hope you find them informative and helpful.

Below, you’ll find a handful of books chock full of tips to help writers create memorable scenes and settings. If you enjoy this piece, you may also be interested in some of our other blog posts that fall under the writing and publishing category.

Learn How to Write Powerful Scenes and Settings

Make a Scene: Writing a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time by Jordan Rosenfeld
Make a Scene - Writing a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time by Jordan Rosenfeld

The definitive guide to writing scenes–now revised and expanded! Scenes are the building blocks for any work of fiction–the DNA sequence that makes a novel un-put-downable and unforgettable. When writers are able to craft effective, engaging scenes, they can develop a complete, cohesive story–and a mesmerizing experience for readers. “Make a Scene Revised and Expanded Edition” takes you step-by-step through the elements of strong scene construction and demonstrates how the essential aspects of a compelling story–including character, plot and dramatic tension–function within the framework of individual scenes to give momentum to the whole narrative.

Writing Deep Scenes: Plotting Your Story Through Action, Emotion, and Theme by Martha Alderson and Jordan Rosenfeld
Writing deep scenes : plotting your story through action, emotion, & theme / Martha Alderson, Jordan Rosenfeld

Scenes sell stories. The strength of a novel’s, screenplay’s, or memoir’s scenes is often the key to its success. “Deep Scenes” will explore the intricacies and subtleties of scenes at every point in a story so writers can take their characters on a moment-by-moment journey of transformation, an element found in all best-selling stories.

Also available in eBook from hoopla.

Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan
Word Painting: The Fine Art of Writing Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan

Writing strong descriptions is an art form, one that you need to carefully develop and practice. The words you choose to describe your characters, scenes, settings, and ideas–in fiction, poetry and nonfiction–need to precisely illustrate the vision you want to convey. “Word Painting Revised Edition” shows you how to color your canvas with descriptions that captivate readers.

You’ll also find dozens of descriptive passages from master authors and poets–as well as more than one hundred exercises–to illuminate the process.

The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces by Angela Ackerman and Becca Publisi
The Urban Setting Thesaurus - a writer's guide to city spaces by Angela Ackerman and Becca Publisi

Making readers care and feel like they’re part of the story should be the number one goal for all writers. Ironically, many storytellers fail to maximize one of fiction’s most powerful elements to achieve this: the setting. Not only can the right location become a conduit for emotion, it can also provide conflict, characterize the story’s cast, reveal significant backstory and trigger the reader’s own emotional memories through sensory details and deep point of view.

“The Urban Setting Thesaurus” helps you tailor each setting to your characters while creating a realistic, textured world readers will long to return to, even after the book closes.

A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting by Mary Buckham
A writer's guide to active setting / Mary Buckham

Setting is one of the most underutilized and misunderstood elements of the writing craft. And when writers do focus on setting, they often pull readers out of the narrative and jolt their attention from the action on the page.

“A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting” will show you how to create vivid, detailed settings that bring your story to life. You’ll learn how to deepen character development, anchor readers to a specific time and place, reveal backstory without slowing things down, elevate action sequences and more.

Drawing upon examples from authors writing across a variety of genres, Mary Buckham will illustrate exactly how the proper use of setting can dramatically improve your story.

Also available in eBook from hoopla.

Online Resources

6 Quick Tips for Writing Gripping Scenes – Writer’s Edit

10 Ways to Launch Strong Scenes – Writer’s Digest

An Illustrated Guide to Writing Scenes and Stories – Electric Literature

Discover The Basic Elements of Setting In a Story – Writer’s Digest

Toledo Library Writing blog series

Featured Image Credit: Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

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