Write What You Know – Research What You Don't

Group of research related 3D words. Part of a series.

One of the most common pieces of advice that I hear when it comes to writing is to write what you know, but if people only wrote about what they directly knew the story would be pretty boring. Imagine if men could only write male characters or vice versa. Or the only career that a character could have would be the career, whether writing or not, that the writer joined. And fantasy worlds wouldn’t exist.

The good news is that writers aren’t limited to the things they know, nor should they be. The remedy to this situation is research and there are a lot of places that a writer can get their information. Here are a few if you’re looking for options:

  1. Books – Although it’s not necessary to be constantly reading books if you’re a writer (most likely you’ve read plenty in your lifetime), reading books can be very useful in the research process. Reading in your chosen genre can help you learn what’s typical to the genre. Reading fiction books in general can help you learn how to write a good book.
    And then of course there are the non-fiction books which will have concrete information on everything from how to write a book to everything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs. Or planes. Or a myriad of other topics. One caveat is that not all books are created equal and books on certain topics can quickly go out of date. Reading multiple books and more recent books can increase your chances of getting good information.
  2. Wikipedia – Yes, I’m mentioning Wikipedia. Although it shouldn’t be the only resource you rely on, it can be a good start for the overview of many topics. As a bonus, there are usually references down at the bottom of the page that you can read and get more information. Take the information here with a grain of salt, but it’s a good start.
  3. Official Websites – These include government websites, well known organizations, and websites aimed at college research. No resource will be perfect, but these websites are more likely to be on point. The better websites will keep their information up to date.
  4. Youtube – Youtube is less likely to be reliable, but you can still potentially find good information here. There are awesome videos out there that teach you about all sorts of writing topics.
  5. Other People – When it comes to things related to humans (gender, race, sexuality, etc.) that you are unfamiliar with, it’s a good idea to seek out other people who are part of one of these groups. They can tell you about their experiences and guide you to how to sensitively portray a character that’s a part of that group. Just remember that everyone has their biases and opinions which may affect their answers.
  6. Experts – If you’re trying to approach something like a very specific scientific concept or depict someone in a job, you may want to try to reach out to experts in those fields. This can make your work more realistic. Like with lay people, even experts have their biases and opinions so beware.

The bottom line is that if you want to write about something you don’t know it’s a good idea to do some research. There are many options out there and it’s often smart to take advantage of multiple resources which can help you be sure you’re getting good information.

What resources do you use? Do you have advice on how to make sure you’re getting accurate information? Leave a message or contact me @alexisafurr on Twitter.

Tips For Successful Writing

Successful writing means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some it’s getting words on the paper at all. For some it’s selling lots of books on Amazon, or even just one or two. For others it’s getting their message out there. And others it’s being true to themselves.

Whatever your definition of successful writing, here are some tips to help you get there:

  1. Just Write – This is the most important tip of all. If you don’t write, you can’t get your story out there. Your first draft is always going to need improvement, so don’t censor yourself the first time through or get hung up on the idea that you’re a bad writer. Your Work in Progress can and will be improved in subsequent drafts. So get out there and be brave.
  2. Write What You Would Read – Quite simply, you need to be invested and interested in what you write. If you’re bored, then the readers are going to be bored as well. You don’t have to love every minute of what you write, but the overarching book should appeal to you.
  3. Write When You Can And As Much As You Can – Maybe you’re lucky and write full time or mostly full time, but for most people finding time to write can be tricky. A lot of experts will tell you to write every day. While this is great advice, it’s not always practical and the pressure can lead people to avoid writing altogether. Take advantage of those times you have available, even if you have to preplan blocks of time to get it done. Eliminate distractions as much as you can during these times. But in the end, don’t stress if you don’t get a chance or don’t get as far as you’d like when you do write, but do your best.
  4. Write What You Know (Or Research) – One thing that isn’t often suggested is to write what you know. This is a good idea, but if people only wrote strictly about what they wrote they’d never be able to write characters of a different gender, race, sexuality, or anything in a fantasy world. How boring would that be?

    So what if you want to write what you don’t know? Do your research. There’s a wealth of information in books and on the internet on almost any topic. You can also reach out to people of other backgrounds and get their perspectives. Write respectfully and armed with research and you can write anything.
  5. Get Feedback – No writer is perfect and no story is perfect. Seek out others in the craft to get feedback whether it’s in the form of a writing group or Beta readers. Look for people who are going to give honest feedback. Avoid groups that only ever praise your work or that tear you down. Neither of these helpful and can be destructive to your work.
  6. Your First Story Might Not Be the Right One – This is a hard tip to take and learning that the first story isn’t the right fit to be published can be crushing to new writers, but it doesn’t have to be. Shelve that first book and get started on another and maybe another after that. Your writing will improve and with time you may come up with a book worth pursuing. You may even be able to go back to previous works and get them published after all. So keep pushing through and don’t get discouraged.
  7. Don’t Listen to the Negativity – Whether your own internal doubts or people who aren’t there to support you, negativity can be crippling if you listen to it. For just about every story and author there is likely to be an audience out there, even if you don’t get there immediately. Listening to those put downs will just turn you off of writing and then you’ll never get your work out there. Get good feedback and ignore the bad.
  8. Reading Other Works Can Be Helpful But Not Mandatory – While reading can expose you to ideas both in creativity and proper ways to write, other books aren’t the only places to get this information. You probably already have a lot of story ideas of your own and merely reading fiction and non-fiction books won’t necessarily teach you proper grammar and story structure by osmosis. And you’ve likely read a lot in your past. Don’t feel pressured to read, though read books at least occasionally.

    One suggestion that is worth listening to is to read at least a couple of writing books, whether broad or specific to a topic. These can help you learn things like how to structure your story, how to edit, how to improve character development, and how to emphasize themes. As always, take any suggestions with a grain of salt, but take advantage of the valuable advice found in these books.
  9. You’re Not On a Timeline – Some people publish their first books in their 20’s and 30’s, others not until their mid-life or even later. Some of the most popular writers were late in life when they first got started, but that didn’t stop them. Writing and publishing takes time and life often interferes. Don’t feel like you’re a failure or that you’ll never get published just because you’re not in your 20’s or 30’s. Just keep writing.
  10. Find Your Audience – No matter how good your book is, if you don’t find your audience no one will ever read it. Consider your book and who you intend to read it and then look for places to reach out to those people. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram can be good places to start but there are many other places.

    Get suggestions from your local writing groups. Reach out to your local library. Reach out to reviewers online and off. Find supportive family and friends willing to read and spread the word (a note – a lot of times friends and family will agree and then not follow through, don’t hold this against them). Get creative. Hopefully with time word of mouth will spread and you’ll begin to sell those books.

These are just a couple of suggestions that can help you accomplish your goals as writers. There are many more out there. Which ones work for you? Leave a comment or contact me on Twitter with your suggestions.

Dreaded Writer's Block

Questions mark and broken pencil on top of a note pad

At some point in every writer’s life, they’ll come up against the Dreaded Writer’s Block. Those moments when you want to write but either you put your hands to the keyboard (or pick up your pen) and nothing comes out, or you just can’t bring yourself even to start or even be in the same room as your laptop. There are many different reasons for writer’s block and with them a lot of ways to fight back. Here are some ways to get back on track so that you can get your new novel, short story, or poem out for the world to see.

  1. Don’t Panic – You’re not alone. Most people get tripped up at some point, but it won’t last forever. The trick is not to get caught up thinking too hard about being stuck or you can prolong it through worry. Give yourself a break and a chance to breathe. Do something else and often your brain will keep on creating in the background.
  2. Take a Break – Too often writer’s live by the idea that they absolutely MUST write at least 1000 words a day, or some other word or page goal. While steady progress is important, sometimes this pressure can turn into the enemy. Sometimes writer’s block is just a sign that your brain needs a break for a few hours or even a day or two. I find at these times that I’m happier with what I write when I return later than if I force the issue. So give it a day or two and then try again.
  3. Determine Where/Why You Get Stuck – Do you find yourself getting stuck in the same place in a Work In Progress? Does the first sentence of a story or a chapter tend to snag you? Or have you made it all the way through the climax and now need to wrap up the story? Maybe even just picking a name for a new character?

    Once you know where your potential pitfalls are, you can prepare ahead of time or at least not be surprised. Just knowing ahead of time can help break through the cycle or shorten it.
  4. Just Write – In some ways this advice is the easiest and hardest to follow. At some point the only way to move forward is to put pen to page or start typing. Set aside a time and just start writing whatever comes to mind. If nothing is coming just pick a word or a phrase to write over and over. The sheer act of writing can get inspiration flowing. If you’re stuck on the name of a character, then substitute some non-sense like ‘xx’ that you’d never otherwise type so that you can easily Find and Replace it at a later time rather than obsessing over the name.
  5. Don’t Censor Yourself – A lot of times we get stuck because we get self-conscious that what we’re writing is “bad” or “useless” or whatever negative thoughts and feelings that can plague us about our works. Remember, right now we’re just trying to get words down on paper or screen. Later is the time to go back and change them or take them out, but for now all that matters is that the idea is written somewhere so that you can move on to the next idea.
  6. Write Something Else – If you’re still stuck, give that piece a break and work on something else whether it’s a different part of the story or a different Work In Progress entirely. You’ll get some work done and feel accomplished and that can get the words flowing again.
  7. Get Some Inspiration – Look for outside help whether you ask your Beta readers or writing friends or even try going to a prompt book. When I’m stuck, I go back to my own book The Huge Collection of Erotica Prompts Journal to remind myself that there are plenty of ideas out there. Just start writing on a prompt and see if you can get your writing gears going again.
  8. Abandon Your Idea – It’s a painful concept, but sometimes a story just isn’t going to get written no matter how you try. Don’t stay frustrated on something that’s not working. Set it aside and move onto something else. Maybe later you’ll find that you’re inspired to go back and continue or start over with the same idea.

Writer’s Block is a frustrating part of the life of a writer. It’s potentially even crippling to a story. But fighting back with some of these ideas can help you get back on track. What other methods do you use to fight this scourge? Leave a comment or contact me on Twitter @alexisafurr.

Four Star Rating for My Centaur's Pony Collection!

The Centaur’s Pony Collection received a four star rating!

Thank you to femledfantasy (https://femledfantasy.home.blog/)who reviewed my book below:

♀
♀ ♀ ♀ ♀

With it’s steady escalation of kink, a perfect collection for those curious about the #ponygirl fantasy, with the final two books sure to satisfy even hardcore #bdsm kinksters. https://femledfantasy.home.blog/2020/01/24/boo

Be sure to read the whole review at Book Review: The Centaur’s Pony Collection for more information and then read The Centaur’s Pony Collection to decide for yourself.

Choosing a Book Title

Choosing a Title

So you’ve finished your work in progress. It’s time to take the next step towards publishing. But then you realize you hit a road block. Sometimes the hardest part of writing a book is coming up with a book title. Here are some tips:

  1. Brain Storm – Take ten minutes and write down everything that comes to mind without censoring it. Afterwards narrow it down to the ones you like. If none of them fit, take the ones you like the most and brainstorm off of those.
  2. Look at Similar Books – No matter what you write, there are bound to be books with similarities out there. Look through a list and see what themes jump out. Which books have really good reviews? The title probably isn’t the main reason, but it can give you a starting point.
  3. Look for Keywords – Go to a private browser for Amazon or Smashwords (so that you get fresh results) and start typing in words related to your story. What keywords come up? How can you work them into your title or subtitle to make your book easier to find?
  4. Make Your Title Stand Out – Find ways to make your title exciting and stand out. You want your title to be memorable so that people can more easily pass it on. Don’t go too complicated.
  5. Enlist Others – Float your ideas to other readers to get their opinion or ask for suggestions. Other readers will have ideas as to what will attract them to your book. Always take suggestions with a grain of salt, but it can be a starting point.

Deciding on a title can be harder than you think, but your title is out there if you just keep looking. What other suggestions can you make for finding the perfect title for your new story? Leave a comment or reach me on Twitter @alexisafurr. Thanks!

Rules Are Meant to Be Broken

Avoid adverbs. Never use words to describe how someone spoke besides ‘said’ and ‘asked’. Never use ‘said’ or ‘asked’. I before E except after C.

“Rules” for writing are everywhere and it seems like everyone has one. Many are contradictory. What’s a writer to do? What are some of the reasons for these rules? Do they have an actual point? Do you have to listen to them? You may be wondering the answers to some of these questions as your write your book or ebook.

Let’s take a look at some of these rules and let people figure them out.

Tropes – “People don’t like tropes”. If that were true, then there wouldn’t be shelves (and ebook pages) full of love triangles, characters with abusive step-mothers, and the high school student finding out that they’re suddenly special for something. Sure, twists are nice, but as they say “There’s nothing new under the sun”. Completely new ideas are rare and changing tropes can often make people upset because they expect one thing and don’t necessarily want a different one. At the end of a romance book, people want a Happily Ever After, or at least a Happily Ever After for now that sets them up for a sequel. So be careful you don’t rely too heavily on tropes, but don’t ignore them either.

“Show Don’t Tell”/Info Dump – There’s always going to be a certain amount of telling in a story and sometimes you’ll just need to spend some time elaborating on a concept, especially if you’re writing in a fantasy world with foreign rules and histories. Do your best to work this information into the story, but sometimes the reader just needs the information. Unless your character has some legitimate reason to start talking about the history of gods to someone who doesn’t know, you’re going to have to find a way to convey this another way because it’ll look weird if the main character just starts talking about it. Do your best to follow this rule, but know that sometimes there are times to break it.

Avoid Pop Culture – Here I say it’s best to keep them to a minimum unless you’re writing something where they’re heavily needed (a comedy book, maybe), but you don’t have to avoid them entirely. You’re writing for the here and now and so long as you keep the references well known and current or recent, most people will probably get the reference. If they don’t they’ll either look it up or just most past it. If you write carefully, they’ll get the general gist anyway.

Prologues – There’s a lot of advice out there that most people don’t read prologues and that you should get your ideas in your books. But sometimes, especially in fantasy novels, it’s good to have a prologue. Perhaps with the perspective of a character or characters who we otherwise wouldn’t get otherwise hear from. Or there’s a backstory to the world that otherwise wouldn’t fit. Some of the most famous fantasy series of all time had prologues.

Your Main Character Must Be Likeable – Not every main character is strictly likeable or that’d be boring. Even ‘likeable’ characters have flaws. You must make the character have something relatable, though, and know that it is trickier to get people to read about a non-likeable character, but it’s not impossible.

Write What You Know – If this is true, then nobody would ever write about fantasy worlds or far away places they’ve never been or jobs they’ve never done or…on and on and on. Writing what you know can be more convenient and perhaps more easily realistic, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck. Research is key here. Know your fantasy world well with lots of preparation ahead of time or to add after the fact. If you’re writing mostly real world, do a lot of a reading, talk to people who do know what you’re writing, and feel free to take a little bit of liberties so long as you’re careful.

Never Use Passive Voice – To some extent this is true. Passive voice can slow down the story significantly. But maybe this is what you want? And there are times when the best way to express something is through passive voice. Use this carefully and it can be very powerful.

Never Use “That” – This rule is like the one above. If you’re not careful, your story can be overbloated with this word. When you’re editing, pick out all the instances and carefully evaluate whether ‘that’ is necessary or whether you can write the sentence more clearly.

Don’t Use “-ly” words – Ah, the dreaded “-ly” words. They can “quickly” weaken a “strongly” written novel. They can also add emphasis in the right places. Don’t rely on these words to convey the mood or what happened. If they came down the stairs, don’t say they “quickly” came down the stairs unless you can’t convey their haste elsewhere or you need to particularly emphasize your point (see what I did there). Use them sparingly and they can be a powerful tool.

Don’t Start Sentences With And or ‘But’, End on Prepositions, or Split Infinitives – Like the above couple of rules, this rule is designed to be broken carefully. Occasionally each of these concepts can be used as emphasis, but the more likely place it’s acceptable is in character speech. You can break a lot of rules in speech so long as it makes sense to the character because people who speak don’t sit down and think of rules as they talk.

These are just a few “rules” that exist out there. If you take the time to understand the rules, then you can learn where to break them and why. In the end, your story is your story and you need to write the way that makes sense to you, just know why you’re writing what you write.

What rules do you tend to break? Why? Any that are not listed here? What rules do you never break?

Leave a reply or connect with me on Twitter at @alexisafurr.

Why Do I Write?

What a wonderful beginning

I’ve been a writer since I was in Elementary School. My first story was a mystery about a horse getting poisoned. (It was totally award winning.) My mom told me that it was great and I’ve been writing ever since then.

Afterwards, the next major novel I wrote was in middle school. I moved into writing about vampires and wrote a book about vampires that featured my English teacher that I had a crush on as the main romantic character. I embarrassed myself completely by asking him to edit my book. Things got awkward from there…

In High School I joined an RPG involving a popular book series (this was prior to Harry Potter, so that’s not the series). I became heavily involved in it for years and as I got older I wrote many characters, made friends that I came to know in Real Life, and I started writing my first erotic stories with some of the people in the game.

During this time, I cycled in and out of Major Depression. Writing was my biggest coping mechanism and I only stopped writing at the times I was at rock bottom. I learned with time that I have Bipolar Disorder and went through years of finding the right combination of therapy and meds to get me stable. Writing remained my biggest coping mechanism.

I continued to write for the RPG while writing my own stories on the side. A couple of years I tried out NaNoWriMo and even made my goal twice. I tried reading my last successful NaNo a year or so back and realized it was like reading someone else’s book insofar as I had no memory of what happened. The amount of angst in it was hardly surprising, though.

About 5 years ago, I started writing a paranormal story with one of my RPG partners. We wrote continuously almost daily up until last year when my partner became too busy for the same writing pace (though we still slowly write together). The book turned into a “series” that spans three different major locations, dozens of individual books featuring romantic storylines, and numbers easily near a thousand worth of pages.

With the decrease in writing with my partner, I started looking for ways to fill the void. I started numerous book ideas, but nothing stuck until I had a very detailed dream. That dreamed turned into my first concerted non-NaNo book after six months of hard work.

Looking for a break from my book before editing, I decided to give smaller storylines a try. I found that they came a lot more easily to me than full length novels. I decided on a whim to start publishing on Amazon Kindle expecting very little other than to say I did it. I’ve always liked writing erotic stories and had the idea of a teacher and his student getting involved in the puppyplay world. That book became the first book I published: Teacher’s Pet: A Puppyplay Series, followed by my idea for a centaur ponplay book: The Centaur’s Pony.

Since then I’ve continued writing. More ideas keep coming to me. That’s part of the reason I decided to write The Huge Collection of Erotica Prompts Journal so that I could get out my ideas and also share them with other erotica writers. I know that prompt books have been helpful to me in the past.

I intend to continue writing. It continues to be my biggest coping mechanism. I know I’ll never be an award winning author that can make a living off of my work, but I celebrate the small success I have had and hope that I can keep entertaining people with my books from my puppyplay, ponyplay, BDSM, and paranormal books.

So why do you write? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @alexisafurr.

Need Some More Inspiration? Try a Book of Prompts

Where the Best Ideas Come From

So you’ve tried people watching at Starbucks of the mall, you’ve gone jogging, and you’ve taken a long hot shower but you still don’t have the inspiration you’re looking for. Maybe you’re looking to start your first Work In Progress whether it be a new short story, an ebook, or a blog post. Or maybe you’re part way into your next story and you get stuck. What now?

A good place to start is to go looking through a book of prompts. These wonderful assets are great ways to find ideas that can get your creativity flowing. They can offer scenarios that can spark the idea for a whole new project or help you get past writer’s block. A good prompt book can be indispensable.

If you’re an erotica author, old or new, you need your own prompt book that is geared towards your genre. You can find this book in The Huge Collection of Erotica Prompts Journal. Here you’ll find three years worth of prompts ranging from one word to full scenarios and broken up by month. You can find it on Amazon.com as an e-book. It’s available on Kindle Unlimited.

Read The Huge Collection of Erotica Prompts Journal and start writing today. And please leave me a review.

How Twitter Became My Community

I started this journey as an erotica ebook writer for Amazon Kindle on November 16th of last year. I never really expected much, but I thought I’d give self-publishing a try. Having no idea where to advertise, I took the advice of a couple of websites and books to use social media to get word out about my first book: Teacher’s Pet: A Puppyplay Series Book 1. I decided to start with Facebook and Twitter (mostly because I still don’t quite understand Instagram).

First I started with Facebook. I soon discovered that there was no way to create an account with a dedicated pen name. The best I could do was to make a page using my psuedonym. I made the page and quickly realized that it was more or less useless to me because I couldn’t send posts out to my friends and family about writing erotica and my real name would be visible in any closed groups I joined. I posted a couple of posts on my page, but had no one to see them and I was forever afraid that I’d accidentally post something on my timeline. I quickly gave up on using Facebook as an idea.

I decided to see if I’d have better luck on Twitter. I’d never joined it before because I couldn’t figure out what type of meaningful interactions one could have in the limited amount of characters it allows. I admit to being rather prejudice against it in the past.

I signed up and somehow, I’m not even sure how now, things just clicked. Some of the advice I was given was to follow accounts and then other people who are already following them will start to follow you. Soon I was gaining followers at a steady pace and I didn’t even know what I was doing. I sent out my first tweets advertising my first book and hoped for the best.

At some point, I started noticing #writingcommunity popping up all over the place and along them #writerslift as members of the community created posts for people to interact with and to follow. Many would tweet out other people’s names as thanks for supporting them. Soon I was following and retweeting these posts and then I began starting my own posts.

Very quickly my follow list began to grow. And as it began to grow, I became more and more involved. Instead of being useless, I had found a group that managed to talk about writing and supported each other despite what I thought would be a handicap in the limited number of characters allowed in each post. What’s more, this group had welcomed me in and given me a place to show off my work and the encouragement to continue writing.

Since then I’ve met multiple people I consider friends and big supporters. They check in with me and talk to me about writing and encourage me. I continue to participate and engage with the community even as #writerslift has decreased due to some fears about a change in the rules about promoting following of other people on twitter. I’ve found a great group of people and hope to keep meeting more people as time goes by.

Best Places to Get Inspiration

Writers are a creative bunch, but we’re always looking for new ideas and for ways to continue a Work in Progress. Inspiration can come out of nowhere, but there are places where inspiration blooms. Here in no particular order are some of the places that work best for me for when I write erotica, paranomal, and BDSM ebooks for Kindle. In no particular order:

  1. Places to Eat Near Me – Taking time to go to restaurants can help fuel the brain at places near me can be useful. Food is fuel for the brain and when I get to writing I sometimes get too distracted to eat. Taking myself away from my computer for an hour or two forces me to get food. Also, I usually have friends or family members with me that I can toss ideas off of.
  2. Coffee Shops – Coffee shops are an awesome place for inspiration. They usually let you bring your computer with you so you can actively write or get down notes. I get out of my normal environment and can people watch as I go. It worked for J. K. Rowling. Just be sure to be courteous and buy something from them and don’t stay too long.
  3. Beaches – I’ve been privileged enough to travel to various beaches over my lifetime. I love to write stories there because it’s warm and there’s the sound of waves in the background. A covered picnic table or a seat at a restaurant overlooking the water i best so that you don’t risk damaging your computer.

    Another benefit is that you can go swimming and see nature and wildlife. This can free your mind away from the hustle and bustle of life.

    Some of the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit have been in Key West and Hawaii.
  4. Shower – A great place for getting more ideas is under the spray of the shower. Warm water and the sound of the cascade falling over you can be relaxing. When you’re in the shower, there’s nothing else you can do besides get washed and think. I like to mull over my stories during this time and plan my next move.
  5. My Home – This seems counter-intuitive. You probably do most of your writing at work, but you don’t have to leave the home to stir up some inspiration. Take your laptop or a notepad to a different place in the house. Maybe move to the dining room table, or sit outside on the porch or desk. A different environment can shake up things. I usually write on my laptop, but have a desktop computer. Even just switching computers can shake things up.
  6. Mall – The food court at the mall is a great place to go. You can fuel up on food and generally stay as long as you like unlike a normal restaurant or coffee house. I like the drone of sound as people talk around me. It’s almost like white noise after a while. Also, it’s a great way to people watch which can help with character ideas.
  7. A Park Near Me – Getting back to nature is relaxing and relaxing can help if daily life is getting in the way of writing or you’re stuck. Sometimes I take my laptop and write at a bench near somewhere pretty like a lake. Other times it helps just to enjoy the park and go walking or hiking. Like the shower, the only thing you can do at this time is enjoy the environment and think.
  8. Jogging – When I go jogging, ideas often shake themselves out. Exercise can get the blood flow going and can be relaxing (for some people). Often my mind drifts during these times and I can work on writing ideas.
  9. My Bed – One of my favorite places to get ideas is right before bed or when waking up. I often think of my stories to help myself get to sleep. And while I’m sleeping I get ideas for stories as well. Some of my best ideas have come this way. Just be sure to keep a notepad or your book close by so that you don’t forget those ideas.
  10. Listening to Music or Watching TV – When I write, I usually have music or the tv on in the background. It helps drown out other sounds in the house and I can take breaks here and there just to enjoy what I’m listening to or watching. Just be careful not to pick something that you get too into.

These are just a few suggestions if you’re in need to get the creative juices flowing. Just remember to bring your phone or a notebook to jot those ideas down!

Comment here or at Twitter @alexisafurr.