Good morning writers, and what a very hot and sunny morning it is (or at least here in England)!
I realised this morning that it’s been a while since I added to the Finding Inspiration series. I’ve done a few of these posts encouraging writers to find inspiration in many things. Some previous examples include Finding Inspiration at the Beach, Finding Inspiration in TV & Film and Finding Inspiration in History.
So today I’m going to talk about finding inspiration in the city, because I’m amazed I’ve not covered it already. I adore big cities. I think it stems from going up in the countryside and always wanting to be in a place that is bigger and more exciting. And it’s this sheer size and excitement that makes the city a perfect place for novel writing inspiration. Take a look at some ideas below.
1. Cities are great for people watching
I love people watching. I think all writers do! While plotting or drafting a new idea, I love to sit in the window seat of a cafe and look out onto the busy city streets. What happens next is a whole array of people will pass by, and you can watch on and pick up on people’s mannerisms and quirks to add depth to your own characters. You’d be amazed at how easily you can become inspired, all while sitting on your bum and drinking a cup of coffee – perfect!
2. Cities are vibrant and diverse
In big cities you’ll find a vibrancy and diversity that you don’t come across anywhere else. People of all ages, of all races, of all religions. Shops, museums and arts venues that celebrate different cultures, different music tastes, different fashions, different histories. It’s so important as a writer to come across all these wonderful differences that people have and enjoy, and to embrace them in a way that makes your characters and your stories more interesting and well rounded.
3. Cities offer a huge choice of setting
Cities aren’t just busy roads, chaotic streets and skyscrapers. In the city you’ll discover a huge variety of settings that can be used in a story. Parks, theatres, museums, back alleys, side streets, hospitals, historic buildings, luxury hotels, homeless shelters, restaurants…the list is endless. Just take a walk around a city and take in some of your surroundings; it’s amazing how many options there are just waiting to be explored.
4. Cities offer an array of possibilities
The city can mean different things to different people, and you can use this setting really well to your advantage as a writer, leading to endless possibilities. For example, the city can be a place of hope and excitement or it can be a place that feels threatening and frightening. It is a place where people can go to get noticed, to stand out from the crowd or it can be a place to blend in and hide from someone/something. There are many ways you can play about with city settings, and make a story that is unique to you.
What are your thoughts on city settings? Are you writing about a city? (If you are you can also check out my post about city settings during the world building stage of writing.)
Perhaps you have a different setting entirely. I’d love to hear your thoughts so do comment below or contact me at any time.