I’m sure many of you spent this past Independence Day with family. Possibly away from home and traveling. Well, no matter if you left your city this past weekend or not, traveling can help you with your stories in three different ways.
It Can Inspire You
Have you ever visited a town, and just fallen in love with the way that the place looks? The history? The lifestyle? By using the little interesting details of the places that you visit, you can find inspiration for your next story. Whether it be based off of the architecture, the way the people speak, or the history.
Seeing and learning new things as we do when traveling causes your brain to think about topics that perhaps had never crossed your mind before, allowing you to come up with new story ideas.
It Can Help With Setting
There is quite a large difference between seeing a city in pictures and actually being there. Actually being in the city lets you hear the language being spoken, smell the smells of the food eaten there, see the way the people dress and act. This in turn allows you to describe those places in deeper detail than you would be able to exclusively through pictures; as you can write using more of the five senses instead of just describing what a place looks like.
And for you fantasy writers out there, traveling can also help you gather little tidbits of information from the places that you visit. This allows you to later piece those little tidbits together to create a world that will come alive on the page. Also, visiting new places allows you to see a vast variety of flora and fauna, which can give you some more ideas as to the plants and animals that live in the world of your story.
It Can Help With Characterization
After I read a book that I love, I feel that I know how a character would react in certain situations. For the reader to feel this way when they read your story, you need to know what your characters would do as well. So try imagining them in as many different scenarios as possible, not just the ones that appear in your story.
Some questions to consider:
How would your characters do on a road trip? Would they be bickering constantly? How do they interact with one another?
Would they go camping or would they check into a hotel? How nice would the hotel be?
Are they the kind of people that like to relax more when traveling or are they up at the crack of dawn, trying to see as many sights as possible?
Also, how would they feel about where you are? Would they be unimpressed my the sights or are their mouths open in awe?
So when you travel next, try looking around for inspiration for your next story. Or if you already have too many story ideas to count, try and focus on how the place smells, looks, and sounds like. Or imagine what it would be like if your characters were right there beside you.