Ideas, Researching and Storyboarding

So to follow on from last weeks post I have decided to share my writing processes, from getting ideas to the actual writing of the project.

Getting Inspiration

Forcing yourself to get inspiration is difficult, sometimes impossible. I find my best novel inspirations come from dreams. When this happens I usually wake up in the middle of the night just to write the ideas down. Because if I don’t I will forget them by morning.

When I next have time I will go over the notes I made and see if it can become an actual story. I do this by stretching it out, making the main characters and sometimes writing the first 1-3 chapters. This will tell me if it has the potential to become a decent novel.

Losing inspiration whilst writing is definitely not fun. Some writers call it writer’s block. To be honest I just believe that it’s a lack of inspiration or there is something wrong with the story.

To get inspiration during the writing process I will research, more about the creatures I’m writing or creatures I would like to add to my stories. I also read and watch movies and TV shows. This is the best way for me, reading especially.

Research Process

My research process is fairly straightforward. I have my ideas then I read up about everything that I would need to make it work. I do go through a few types of sources though, including; websites, non-fiction books and then fictional books.

I find this process works very well for me. I use websites to look up general information and whatever I can find. I then use that information to locate non-fiction books that will provide me with facts to back up the information. Finally when I have all my facts I try fictional novels that have applied this information to review how the subject was used in a fictional context.

This process can take all day sometimes, but it can also only take and hour, it depends on the topic. I’m not sure if it will work for anybody else, but it definitely works for me, so with any luck it will work for somebody else.


As a writer I’m not much of a storyboarder. I use a program named Scrivener to lay out my information, but I don’t use it to write. Outside of researched content, I am more of a spontaneous writer, that is, I like to see where the novel takes me. All I need to know is the end game, I like to leave the journey to chance.

Although, as I come to the point of finalising The Stray I am finding a need to storyboard to check the progress of the storyline in each chapter. I have done this by using blu tac on my walls with pieces of paper, one for each chapter. Each sheet has the major and minor events listed on the sheet and the characters that were introduced in that chapter.

The process is a long one, and to be honest it’s kind of boring. Which is why I still haven’t caught up to point I’m writing at the moment. I know that it is now necessary for me to storyboard to make sure everything adds up and is in the right sequence. But I don’t find the storyboarding process all that interesting.

But that isn’t true for all writers, one of my friends likes to storyboard the majority of her story before she sits down to start writing. I might find it boring and tedious, but she loves the process and it helps her to write the novel, whereas I feel that it hinders my creativity if I plan out the entire novel.