Inspiration Everywhere – A Writer’s Guide

writing advice

Sometimes it can be hard to get inspired. Especially if, like me, you try to publish something new every single week. There’s only so many things you can write about, aren’t there?

Luckily for me, since I focus on fantasy and paranormal erotica, I can write about all kinds of things. I’ve written some more ‘normal’ things, like a student/teacher story, but then I’ve also written an erotic fantasy epic, tentacle sex, even possessed statue sex. So yeah – some of it’s pretty unusual (but it’s all hot, I promise!).

Whether you write on the weird side or prefer to keep things more vanilla, here are five ways to get inspired.

1. People Watching

Go to a pub or a coffee shop, sit near the window, and just gaze out of it. I’ve done this so many times (admittedly, most of the time I was supposed to be writing). You might see a person who has that look you’ve been after for your side character. Maybe it’ll be an outfit, or the way people interact with each other. You might overhear a conversation that sparks your imagination. There are so many possibilities!

2. Tumblr

You could use Pinterest for this too, but I’m more of a tumblr girl. They’re both websites that focus on images and can be super useful for writers. For example, if you’re writing a fantasy story, set up a blog just for that story and search for castles or medieval clothes, whatever’s relevant. Reblog the pictures and you have a whole blog full of inspiration that you can look through whenever you need. If you want to get to know a character better, set up a blog for them and reblog things that make you think of them – pictures of people who look like them, food they like, clothes they might wear (as a possibly relevant side note, there are lots of sexy pictures on tumblr!). The best thing with doing this is that you can keep using the resource – if you get writer’s block, just look through your blog for inspiration.

3. Watch TV

I don’t mean copy the story ideas, or start writing fanfic of your favourite TV show (though hey, if you want to go ahead! I love fanfic). Good TV shows can be great insights into how people work, and it can inform your own writing. Or if you’re writing something out of your area of expertise, a TV show can help. Always make sure that you back it up with actual research, but if you’re can’t bear to read another word about lawyers, watch Law and Order for a fun way to get your head in the right space. Or if you’re writing about somewhere you’ve never been, maybe watch a TV show based there.

4. Listen to Music

Who hasn’t been inspired by a great piece of music? I can’t listen to music with lyrics when I’m writing (if you have the same problem, try listening to movie or video game soundtracks – they’re designed to help you concentrate!), but when I’m out and about I love listening to music and often get ideas from songs. Spotify and YouTube are great ways to explore new music and get ideas. It could be the title – for example, aren’t The Only Living Boy in New York and Lightning is My Girl super evocative? Or maybe make a playlist of songs your character likes, and listen to them while making notes about them.

5. Go Somewhere New

I find this one can really help when I’m struggling. You could hop on a plane, if that’s in your budget, but it could be somewhere local, too. Have a look in your local area. Is there anything interesting? A castle or a stately house; a beach, a park, even something as simple as a new restaurant in your town. It can refresh your mind and get you out of a slump. Add this to the first point, and people watch while you’re there!

So there we are! My five ways of getting inspiration. What about you – any tips or tricks?

Writers Who Lunch

writers meeting

Meeting up with other writers is great.

In May, I went to an event for erotica writers. It was in Scarborough, called Smut by the Sea, run by Smut UK. It was an amazing day (and not just because of the fresh doughnuts bought on the seafront, yum). There’s an event in Manchester in October, and I’m really hoping to go and meet some more great people.

At the event, I met up with a few local writers, and now we meet up for lunch more-or-less monthly. Not only do I have a great time chatting to these lovely ladies, I always learn something new.

Last Monday, I met up with Jennifer Denys and Ashe Barker (Kryssie Fortune usually joins us, but she couldn’t make this one). Ashe had been to Eroticon recently, and she spoke so highly of it, I’d love to go next year. As well as the usual workshops about writing, one in particular caught my attention. There was a Dom who did a scene with his sub, and as he did he spoke about his thought processes. It sounds amazing! And of course, she said it was wonderful meeting up with other erotica writers, both people Ashe knew through Facebook, and new friends. As someone who has gone to places as far as Chicago and Boston to meet fellow writers, that really appeals to me.

We also discussed other writerly matters, like how to stay motivated, and how to promote your books. As someone who has trouble with self-promotion (I come over all shy!),  I was definitely listening closely to that advice. I talked a bit about self-publishing, and all the trials that can involve – for me, formatting is my greatest foe. I love how generous these ladies are with their advice, and how much fun we have.

If you’re a writer, I really recommend trying to meet up with some locals, especially in your genre. It’s fun, it’s useful – just beware, you might end up with a huge list of reading recommendations!

Awesome news!

I am SO excited about the success of the Concubine Prince series! It’s been going really well, and I’m so happy that people are having as much fun reading it as I am writing it.

Here’s some of the great things that have happened so far:

things to make you say yay ARe

See that little star next to the book info? That means that Book One has been in a category top ten on All Romance eBooks! This is definitely thanks, at least in part, to ARe’s great Valentine’s Day sale.

But ARe isn’t the only place the series has been seeing success.

I’ve now had category top 100s on Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Germany! Best of all, category top TENS in Canada – I love you, Canada ❤

asdfghjk

Too exciting, right? I actually squealed when I saw that, and it made my month. I only hope that it’s onward and upward from here on in. This is a very exciting start to my writing career, and I can’t wait to see what people think of the next book.

Thank you so much to everyone who’s bought any of my books, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and feedback for the books on your favourite bookstore is always appreciated.

New beginnings!

Today I publish my first book.

Today I create my new blog and write my first post.

It’s a day of new beginnings!

After weeks of writing, making a cover, reading about Kindle formatting (I’ve not even started looking at Smashwords yet!) and I’m finally done. This is a momentous occasion. Even if I don’t sell a single copy, I’VE DONE IT! And that feels awesome.

If you’re not at that stage yet, you can do it! Stick around, in a few days I’ll be making a post with all the links that have helped me get my work into a publishable stage.

For now, well, how about the link to my book? Agency for Paranormal Investigation Case 001: Aliens at Area 51. It’s erotica, be warned – and have fun!

On Amazon UK + On Amazon US