Finding Story Inspiration

Shutterstock / Yury Zap © story inspiration

How do you find story inspiration – do you go looking for it, or does it find you? In my mind, it’s a bit of both. Here are some quick tips that might help plant a story seed in your imagination.

Visual imagery

If you have read my blog posts in the past, you’ll know I’m a fan of visual imagery for story inspiration. It’s a good way to engage the mind in a relaxing, creative way.

Something as simple as desktop wallpaper on your computer can work wonders with the imagination. It could be an autumnal landscape scene, or a picture of an old, distinctive railway station. Whenever you boot up your computer, it will be an image that you can reflect on daily.

Don’t pressure yourself for instant results. Let your imagination wander over days and sometimes weeks. The best ideas often take time to formulate in your mind.


Proverbs are wonderful sources of story inspiration. Here are a few well-known English proverbs that most of you will be accustomed to hearing and seeing.

A bad penny always turns up.

A bad penny might make you think of someone no-one is happy to see. Fairly routine – but in a fiction sense what if that person has turned over a new leaf, yet others have to be convinced of the new way of life?

Slowly but surely.

I used this saying just the other day. Methodical is good working practice but, in an age of instant results, is methodical seen as slow by some people and somewhat redundant?

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

When faced with new experiences, different mind-sets, it’s logical to follow customs befitting the situation. But it’s another proverb you can turn on its head for finding story inspiration. What if, for whatever reason, someone doesn’t follow protocol when it’s expected?

An active mind

A lot of writers I work with say to me that after visiting a place, or hearing something someone has said, it has inspired a story.

It could be a favourite location you have visited a thousand times. After all, each new day brings its own creative experiences.

For more from the “Friend” Fiction team, click here.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.