author, creative writing, writing

Finding Inspiration at The Beach

Morning all! I hope you’ve all had a brilliant week.

This week, I was lucky enough to take the coast with my fiancé, for his birthday. I have always loved being by the sea, and here in Bournemouth, UK we both had a wonderful time.

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Of course, the seaside can be an incredibly inspiring place and so it seemed only right to come home and add to my ‘Finding Inspiration’ series. I have previously discussed finding inspiration in travel, in history and in places in general, and I hope that this post will offer more insight into finding inspiration in every place you go!

Take a look at the following ways you can find novel writing inspiration at the beach:

1. Nostalgia and childhood memories
For many people, a visit to the beach brings up feelings of nostalgia and fond childhood memories of family holidays. This makes the seaside a really intriguing setting for a story where childhood memories are perhaps uncovered throughout. I love books that flit between the past and the present to reveal a parallel tale, or where the past adds depth to the present. And I often find that when the beach is a setting in these types of story, you can really connect to that sense of memory in a place.

2. Mood and atmosphere
Being by the sea you’ll experience all types of moods and atmospheres, often depending on the weather. The elements are usually more pronounced by the sea, with sunny days seeming sunnier and stormy weather more threatening. The seaside provides the perfect mood for tales of romance, for dark twisty thrillers or exhilarating adventures, and all the while you have a perfect location to set the mood of your story.
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3. An array of people
Seaside towns see people come and go throughout the year. This makes the possibility of introducing new characters really easy and totally plausible. Seaside towns also, usually, have proud locals who care for their home and its people. This allows you the opportunity to ‘rock the boat’ by introducing outsiders who may make the local community angry, annoyed or suspicious.

4. Access to travel
With boats coming and going, the beach offers a perfect setting for travellers and adventurers. Here, you may see people leaving to start a new life, escaping a place of fear or arriving somewhere new and exciting. All these options provide possibilities for characters and the ability to hop onto a boat is only really an option by the sea.

5. The five senses 
The beach is an ideal setting to put the five senses to use and build a picture in the minds of your readers. Asides from obviously sight, you can incorporate the smell of the sea air, of chips with vinegar. There’s the sound of seagulls, of waves crashing, the feeling of sand between toes and wind through hair and of course the taste of salt against lips, of candy floss and ice cream…I love using senses to create realism in stories, and the seaside offers so much for all five!
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Are you inspired by the beach? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below. Perhaps there are other places you find more inspiring? Let me know!

Until then,
Keep writing,

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19 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration at The Beach”

  1. Great post!
    It was a childhood incident at a beach that was the seed for my own manuscript (unfortunately it wasn’t a good memory – I nearly drowned. But it was a very powerful event and holds lots of energy in a writing sense).
    Luckily, I still enjoy the beach as a grown-up, and always feel happy there. We have some truly stunning beaches in Western Australia.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh wow, what a harrowing story! I am so glad that you came out of it unharmed as such, but so sorry you had to go through something so traumatic. I can only imagine how the memories and emotions tied with that event have been cause for inspiration. I am also glad that this hasn’t effected your love of the seaside and I bet out there in Aus you truly do have some amazing beaches. Hope you are well and thank you for stopping by and commenting x

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Marie,
      Greetings from Umina Beach, just North of Sydney. I lived in WA for a few years including a year or so in Geraldton. Have you been there? The seaweed rolls along the beach into soccor ball sized balls of tumbleweed, and trees along the waterfront in Greenough grow sideways due to the strong winds. It really is a kind of wilderness.
      Best wishes,

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Geraldton is a very interesting place. The wildflowers are amazing in Spring and there’s a very strong windsurfing community there. I really loved some of the historic elements. The original Greenough village flooded back in the day and they moved the village and just left the original one behind and it’s fairly well preserved. When I was there, I can’t remember there being a lot of formality about walking around the place. Here’s a link:
        I used to work for the Chamber of Commerce there and still haven’t stopped promoting the place.
        BTW Have you been to the New Norcia Monastry? I loved that too.
        Best wishes,

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful pictures. Out here in Oregon we are not far from the Pacific Ocean. It is so nice to get away. The lack of people and the sound of the waves is music and heaven all rolled into one.

    That was an excellent write up. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was curious about how reading this post would impact me, as we live right near the beach and don’t have that same sense of the beach being a place you go for holidays. Indeed, for me it is often a place of good intentions where I’m meant to go for a walk myself. Meant to take the dogs for a walk. It would be nice to just sit there and not feel I should be doing something else. That could well be a goal for when it warms up…along with going for a swim.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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