Life is full of places to go, people to see, and events to experience. If you’re like many writers you’d prefer to be home filling pages with words, creating characters, and describing villains that readers will love to hate. To improve your stories and give life to your characters a writer must venture out of the comfort zone of writing. Use that pencil to fill in dates on a calendar even if you have to force yourself to join society.

Struggling with the idea of getting out there? Think of it as research. Malls, parties, coffee shops, even parks, filled with people of all ages, races, and lifestyles are wonderful places to start. Tall and lanky, short or skinny, let the descriptive words fill a page. Add words about the various colors of hair like bleached blonde, black as a cloudless night, sky blue, snowy white or the cold grey of a winter morning. Challenge your mind to find fun ways to describe their clothes, mannerisms, voices, even laughter.

Filling pages with these words challenges you to expand your vocabulary, push your creativity, and build a reference file that will connect your readers with the characters of your work. Finding ways to make them love to hate that villain or cheer for the nerdy guy in a love story draws your readers into caring for your characters and improving your story.

Inspiration abounds when you’re out in the world. Car wrecks turn into high-speed chase scenes. Outdoor parties set the stage for natural disasters or raging monsters. Hiking through the woods or sitting by the beach can inspire Robin Hood characters, pirates, or hidden magical retreats.

Have fun exploring the world and let it inspire you!