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Get Inspired to Write Your Next Novel


Kristin Noland speculative fiction and crime fiction editor and ghostwriter

 

So, you’ve written one or two novels. Congratulations! I hope your books are successes!

 

Now you understand plot, characterization, and worldbuilding and enhanced your writing skills.

 

But you have more to say to the world. It’s time to dig deeper.

 

I believe books can change the world. You can use yours to open minds and spark action in your readers or give them more subtle messages through the layers in your novel that they may not understand right away, but days later, when they are still thinking about your book, they begin to get the underlying messages you gave them.

 

Your first novels may have addressed society as a whole or a specific group of people, maybe one or two individual problems. Now that you have an audience who loves your books, you can do deeper or tackle different global issues.

 

  • Create cultures and settings in your novel that reflect cultural norms you haven’t addressed yet.

  • Create characters that are struggling with various, yet somewhat common problems or more rare issues that you can inform your readers about.

 

 We all have different views of the world, past happenings, fears about the future, and ideas about what the world will look like soon.

 

You probably shared your outlook on these things in your first few novels. Maybe for your next book, you can share others’ views.

 

Interview people 

 

Start with family and friends.

 

Learn their likes and dislikes, their thoughts about society, what scares them most, what makes them happy.

 

People older than you remember the world differently and have different views than people younger than you. Interview both and find out what those differences are.

 

Ask them about their childhood. What were they most worried about? What brought them the most joy. Then ask them the same about today.

 

Ask them what their thoughts are about the future and how they differ from when they were younger. Some of their ideas may spark your worldbuilding!

 

They may tell you about people they know that are struggling with something you want to include in your book. Those are new leads on conversations you can have to learn more about conditions or cultures.

 

Listen to others

 

Listen to those chatting around you.

 

Sure, eavesdropping is frowned upon, but I bet you can get a lot of great ideas by listening to people complain on the subway or in a coffee shop. They aren’t just complaining; they are sharing their thoughts and fears.

 

Some might be telling a story about something they enjoyed or something that made them sad or disappointed.

 

I don’t suggest striking up a conversation with someone by asking, “What’s your biggest fear?” But you can talk to a stranger if you feel comfortable enough. Simply start by asking if you can ask them a question. Then explain you are an author and are doing research for your novel and ask them. Try not to make it too personal or you won’t get an answer. 😊

 

Research

  

At this point in your writing career, you may have to do more research than you did in your first novel.

 

Researching is an excellent way to spark your imagination and get you on a path to writing a great novel.

 

Have you ever just looked up something because you were interested in it or wanted to know the truth about something?

 

I have, and when I’m reading about a topic, I inevitably find another topic I’m interested in and learn more, form my own opinions, and start thinking about how I can work things into an entertaining story.

 

When researching, look for scholarly articles or articles on a trusted site or at your library. Obviously, there is a ton of information out there, but try to get as close to the facts as possible. Read from multiple sources that approach the topic from various angles.

 

You might be surprised with what you learn and possibly change your mind about certain topics. There those authors go, influencing society again.

 

You can too. Use your next novel to influence your audience and make them really think about what you are saying!

 

Interview

Listen

Research

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post.

 

Have a manuscript ready for editing or ghostwriting, contact me.

 

Not ready yet? Get writing and editing tips sent to you every month by signing up for my newsletter.

 

Happy writing and revising!

 

Kristin Noland – Speculative and Crime Fiction Editor and Ghostwriter

 

 

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