Favourite Places for finding Writing Inspiration

Inspiration strikes in strange places: sometimes you have to hunt it down, and sometimes it lands in your lap like a brightly coloured, ticking package just waiting to go off. I wonder if I like writing so much because it encourages me to research weird stuff. Partially I wonder if it’s because I like to magpie curiosities in Evernote for use later. The strangest collection of seemingly useless information appears in the most bizarre fashion in my fiction sometimes. For example, some of the recent treasures sitting in my “Research” folder include:

  • Common names of French Creoles
  • Slang of the 1920s
  • List of expressions related to death
  • The names of Alchemy
  • 10 Dangerous Things in Victorian Homes
  • List of Demonic Entities
  • List of Fallen Angels
  • The Magical Mystical Leyline Locator
  • Sherlock Holmes’ Cocaine Habit
  • Drowned Towns: Underwater Ghost Cities and Buildings
  • Raw Chocolate Breakfast Hazelnut Parfait Recipe (epic.)

A few of my favourite places for finding writing inspiration are gathered below. I hope they birth a few rabid plot bunnies for you too, or in the very least, you find something new and interesting to waste spend your time on.

MessyNessyChic.com

Weird, wonderful, sometimes abandoned, sometimes secreted away in plain sight — Messy Nessy Chic often curates vintage collections of curiosity drawn from plain old internet searches and supplied with tons of photograph inspiration. I particularly enjoy the Wanderlust and Nostalgia categories. You never quite know what will turn up, but mostly it makes me want to write urban fantasy. (Fairy Doors anyone?)

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Atlas Obscura: Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations

I stumbled across the Atlas Obscura while trying to find more information on the Aokighara Forest (The Suicide Forest) featured in Kendare Blake’s Girl of Nightmares. What I wasn’t  expecting was a ginormous resource for all the weird and wonderful locations and oddities around the world. (There’s even a decent section for Montreal with a few places I hadn’t heard of.) Atlas Obscura is the russian roulette of my “Give me inspiration!” moments. I usually walk away with too many ideas and not enough time to write them all out, but it’s worth it.

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RebelleSociety.com

Not everything is roses. I recently read Chuck Wendig’s article, The Varied Emotional Stages of Writing a Book, and it’s on the money: he manages to summarize the highs and lows of the process in a way that makes me howl at my computer chanting, “It’s all true!” When novel-related crisis hits, I usually trundle over to RebelleSociety.com because they offer a combination of insight and inspiration for creative types without being stodgy about it, and oftentimes, I walk away genuinely inspired.

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Order of the Good Death

“The Order of the Good Death is a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality.” It’s so much more than that. It’s so not as self-helpy as their bi-line makes it sound.

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Do you have a few good places you visit to collect ideas? I’d love to hear about them. (Seriously. I realize that it sounds like I’m just saying that, but remember: MAGPIE.)

 

Showing 16 comments
  • Kira Butler (@kirabutler)
    Reply

    Muse talk! A few places around the internet I love using for writing inspiration. #writetip http://t.co/BDZxv5f28p http://t.co/HfXQrklxbV

  • Angie G
    Reply

    I have a collection of research books all about myths, legends, fantastical creatures, etc and I love to just flip through them sometimes and see what catches my attention.

    • Kira Butler
      Reply

      Nice! Any favourites in particular?

      • Angie G
        Reply

        Writers Complete Fantasy Reference, The Vampire Encyclopaedia, Ultimate Encyclopaedia Of Mythology, Dictionary of Angels, Encyclopedia of the Undead, Hell House and Other True Hauntings, Past Worlds Atlas of Archeology, and Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopaedia of Folklore (I have many others but those are my favorites).

        I don’t know if you’ll remember the name, but I was dreambastion on Livejournal – I started following your HP and XMen stories and have stalked you to your other sites since. I’ve always admired your talent and I’m really enjoying your blog posts about your writing process and inspiration. It makes me want to get off my butt and get serious about my own writing!

        • Kira Butler
          Reply

          Yeah of course! (I saw dreambastion in your email address, so I figured: what’s the likelihood that there are two people using the same handle. It’s pretty unique.)

          That’s a helluva list. I’ve got the Encyclopedia of the Undead, and I covet the Vampire Encyclopedia (I’m assuming its the really really thick book. I’ve seen it a few times but never picked it up for myself. No more room on the shelves.) 🙁

          Have you started any projects?

          • Angie G

            I’ve got outlines on about a half dozen ideas and have done large amounts of world and character building on two of those, but other than a few scene snippets that I wanted to get down, I haven’t done any real writing.

            Life has gotten in the way many times, but I think subconsciously fear has stalled me a lot, too.

            And yes, the Vampire Encyclopedia is the thick one – there is a ton of information in it. I’ve barely scratched the surface on it!

          • Kira Butler

            I think you just have to do it. It’s like exercising, eventually it becomes part of the routine. Even if you’re producing 100 words a day just get them down.

            Best thing I can tell you: If you want to do it then you need to do it for yourself first and foremost, and the fear doesn’t matter. They’re just words. You can revise them until you’re not afraid anymore. (This is my mantra.)

  • Reply

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  • Kira Butler (@kirabutler)
    Reply

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  • Kira Butler (@kirabutler)
    Reply

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  • Kira Butler (@kirabutler)
    Reply

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