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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Friday Five: Five Unusual Places to Find Writing Inspiration

Every once in a while, we all become a little drained creatively, whether it's due to stress, health, weather, or personal issues. Why not try a unique locale to rejuvenate the spark? Give these places a shot:

1. A church. No, not for mass (though, if that works for you, go for it!). Churches, particularly those you don't normally frequent, are full of unique opportunities to absorb creativity. The architecture, the art, and that blissful silence all combine to rejuvenate the spirit and feed the writer's soul. Study the expressions on the faces of the images whether painted, sculpted, or in stained glass. Breathe in the odors of candles, flowers, and incense. Better yet, crash a wedding ceremony. Nothing says romance like a wedding. Note the beaming bride and her equally ecstatic groom. Check out the guests' fashions, the gorgeous floral arrangements, the hairstyles. Bathe in the happiness surrounding everyone. Lots of inspiration to soak up.

2. A cemetery. There's a great one near my house, on the bluffs of the Long Island Sound. It's out of the way, very private, very old, with some terrific views of water and shoreline. Read the headstones for interesting names, the history of families, and to let your imagination run wild.

3. The food court at the mall. Find a table in the thick of the crowd and watch. Check out how people interact, what they wear, what and how they eat. Study facial expressions and body language. Take notes and take all that insight back for your story!

4. The day job. Got one? Or a place you go routinely: Mommy & Me, book club, a play date? Even the weekly get-together with friends is rife with characterization. Social circles have lots of personalities. The leader, the follower, the nurturer, the martyr. Draw your characters from those archetypes you know.

5. Any historical landmark. Every town has some kind of historical attraction: an old house, an art museum, a historical society. Visit! Open up your senses to the possibilities. In some historical locales I've visited near me, I've heard stories of murders and haunted houses, viewed a collection of carriages (and sleds from the Russian steppes!), lost myself in works of art, and sipped birch beer on the veranda.

Now go forth, experience, then write!


 
For tips on writing and fun articles, visit Gina's Articles For Writers page: http://www.ginaardito.com/ArticlesforWriters.html
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