Sources of Writing Inspiration

writing, how to, research, romance novels,

Inspiration often strikes in the most unlikely places. OK, that isn’t entirely true. As a rabid reader of non-fiction history, it’s hard for me to get through a non-fiction history book without slapping a sticky tab on some story idea. It's one of the reasons I still love hard copies of research books. I don’t always use the story idea right away but the sticky tab makes it easy to come back to the idea at a later date. This had been the case behind the inspiration for many of my historical romance novels.

My novel The Courtesan’s Book of Secrets, centers on Rafe, a destitute Baron, and Cornelia, a widowed Comtesse, who must recover a book of traitors' names or face ruin. The idea for The Courtesan’s Book of Secrets first took hold when I was reading a biography of Nell Gwyn, one of King Charles’ II of England’s mistresses. The book mentioned a register listing the names of all King Charles' affairs that was kept by the woman who'd slipped the ladies in and out of Whitehall. The book was lost to history. Wouldn’t it be great if it were suddenly found? The idea of writing a story about a similar book reemerging to shock and ruin members of society never left me. Eventually, the idea became Rafe and Cornelia’s story.

English countryside, English sheep, England
In order to write their story, and give my gambling scenes and my characters more depth, I had to learn how to play Regency era card games which led to a blog post on the subject. You can read the post here. I also had to research limestone deposits in the Weald of England and how they could make a man rich. It was quite a mish-mash of research reading, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I also garnered a few more story ideas for future books. I have to buy sticky tabs in bulk!

British pub, pub, London, England, Nell Gwynn
Researching their story was a treat because I had to delve into the less elegant aspects of life in Regency England. It was fun to read about seedy coffee houses and the laws governing treason. A great book for this is The Regency Underworld by Donald A. Low. A few lines in this book about the Duke of Rutland's bastard daughter eventually sparked the idea for my heroine and her past in A Too Convenient Marriage. See how that happens? You do some research for one story and pretty soon you have ideas for other stories or blog posts.

The next time you're searching for something to write about, pick up a research book on a subject that interests you and see what inspires your writing.

If you enjoyed these ideas for how to garner story ideas, please check out my books and see how the stories turned out.


Lisa O'Driscoll said...

I never thought to do this but it's such a great suggestion! Thanks for sharing with us at Share The Wealth Sunday!

Michelle said...

I get many inspirational thoughts from reading works either published or in the works. Even a simple magazine can give one ideas. Appreciate you linking this week at Party at My Place.

Melanie Redd said...

Isn't it funny where we get our inspiration sometimes!
I found your post today on Social Butterfly.
Hope you have a great day~

Georgie Lee said...

Thanks Lisa, Michelle and Melanie for stopping by. I'm glad the post was helpful for you.

Ashleigh Outman-Conant said...

Writers block is the worst in this business! Great tips!
Thanks for sharing this on Peace, Love, Linkup! Stop by tomorrow at 6 and bring more links!
Hope to see you there : )

Raising Samuels said...

I think this is such a great idea! I love how you researched these items and then wrote about them. I think this is why I love historical fiction, because I know there is some truth in the history and the story it is centered on. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week :)