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.
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.
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!
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!