Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

That Elusive Inspiration: Ways to Find It

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A pretty common question for writers is how they find the inspiration for their work. It's one of those questions authors are basically always asked in interviews. Sometimes inspiration finds you and everything seems to come together -- your story, plot, characters, even your motivation to keep writing. But other times, you have to find inspiration, and if you've ever experienced writer's block, you know how awful it can feel when you really want to be creative but it just isn't happening.

Here are some things that have worked for me to get inspired to write.

1.) Reading books in my genre (YA). This is probably the easiest way to get inspired -- if you're a writer, chances are you're an avid reader. Great books make you want to be great, too.

2.) Watching my favourite TV shows. Right now I'm really addicted to The Vampire Diaries and the show's constant love triangles, relationship plotlines and crazy twists keep you on your toes. The writing is so good and a reminder of what works and what makes you care about characters and how to pace your story.

3.) Thinking about the novel I'm working on when I'm not working on it. For instance, in the moments before I fall asleep, on the subway, walking to class, etc. Sometimes I reimagine scenes or dialogue between my characters, or work out something I'm stuck on, and this helps to get me thinking creatively so when I do have time to write, I'm ready.

4.) Going to the movies or theatre. Staying inside and staring at your Macbook can only work for so long. Sometimes you have to see what else is out there. Movies are perfect for learning the structure of a story since chances are you're already aware of a normal plot from years of movie watching.

5.) Going for a walk if I'm stuck. This is like the previous point -- getting out into the world and leaving my story for a while.

I'll be back on Wednesday.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Aya Tsintziras

Aya Tsintziras is the author of the YA novel Pretty Bones, which was selected for the Canadian Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens in Spring 2012. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing a Masters of Journalism at Ryerson University.

Go to Aya Tsintziras’s Author Page