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Participant Pep Talk from Emma S.

There’s a lot going on right now, and it effects countless people. And sometimes, the only way out of our world is into our new world; the world of books and writing. But what if we add our world into our books?

​How can we get inspired for Camp projects and other stories? By using the world around us. Here is an example: One day, I was on a bus, and it slid on the ice. We were okay, but it got me thinking, which turned into the idea for a story about a girl who was in an accident.

That’s an example of a possibility, but (and this is a very big but) how can we add what’s happening in our lives, in our current world, into our story? Not something that didn’t happen, or could happen (like a meteor destroying the Earth), but more like what is happening NOW as you read this.

No, I don’t mean right now like, your annoying little sister/brother is trying to see what you’re doing. I mean the hardships and things that are going on around us. Like illnesses, strikes, and inequality. We can use those to inspire us into writing a bigger, better story. ​​

You can use the small stuff, too like a closing of your favorite store or getting a new book or trying a new food. Even seeing a butterfly. Though, yes, these are not enough of a topic for a WHOLE novel, but they are good for chapter ideas, or something that happens to keep the characters to make them seem more realistic and more relatable. ​

You can also include real traits from people that you know or have observed in your characters to make them seem more human and real. This doesn’t mean that your novel has to be nonfiction. Your novel can be science fiction, fantasy, or even literature. Just add some nonfictional flair to keep your reader interested. You can add historical events, or even present events

If you’re not sure how to start or continue a writing project you’re working on, let’s brainstorm some things that are going on in our world right now that we can add into our stories:

  • You can channel your experience of quarantine. Your character could be exposed to a sickness by a family member or a friend. Your characters can go through an isolation and cannot see other characters. Your characters can learn something YOU did during this experience. (For me, it was chess and Greek.) You can add anything that you think is good, even something as small as a TV show you started watching.
  • You can add movements and uprisings against inequality or injustice in your novel. Maybe your character finds themselves in a place where they don’t feel safe, and they have to figure out how to get out of that situation. Perhaps your character has a belief and makes a petition to fight an unjust law. Maybe your character is standing up for something that they have a strong moral belief in. 

​What else is happening that you can add in your novel? Small things are helpful, too, as I mentioned. If you’re feeling stuck, you can always brainstorm your ideas and plan out your novel.

So get out your pens and pencils, and start brainstorming!

photo of Anna C.

Emma has been writing since she was a kid. She enjoys singing, dancing, reading, writing, and drawing. She has written many drafts for novels and she hopes to finish a novel someday.

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