While buying books online is great fun, nothing compares to browsing the latest bestsellers at a local bookstore. If you are looking for ideas on what to write about, check out what is selling. Do some market research while you are browsing for a few more books to buy.
Used bookstores are also a great place for getting book ideas. If you are a craft writer, buy older craft books to study. Think of ways your can update the crafts and patterns, then do it.
2. Farmer’s Market
How many books have a scene in a farmer’s market? Too many to count. Whether you write nonfiction or fiction, the farmer’s market will provide you with plenty of ideas. It is also a great place to do some people watching.
The Smithsonian is an awesome museum, but you probably have a number of local museums you can visit. Browse your local museums (and support them in the process). Museums are filled with interesting fast and images that can easily inspire your next novel.
4. Hardware Store
Getting lost in the hardware store is not that difficult. It not only inspires creative ideas for hands-on projects, but you can also plot the murder of novel’s victim.
Spend a few hours browsing the local library or spend a day visiting all the local libraries because they are not all the same. If you’ve depleted your book allowance for the month, libraries are a great place to get inspiration for free.
6. Historical Sights
Visit all the local historical sights in your area. Local sights are the source of inspiration for countless works of fiction and nonfiction.
I’ve been to bars fewer times than I have fingers, however each experience has been unique and memorable. Bar scenes are common in novels and the people there can provide you with countless hours of entertainment.
8. Local Festivals
Get the flavor of a local culture by visiting festivals. Festivals are not only fun, they attract a wide variety of people. Where I live, the local pepper festival is a pretty big event. There’s also a redneck festival where my sister lives. These events can inspire a great number of novel ideas.
Visit old, historic cemeteries. These places are a great source for names and a great place to dream up the lives of those who’ve lived and died.
10. Flea Markets
Yard sales are fine, but flea markets are where the true gems are found. Knickknacks of all sorts can inspire ideas for new plots and nonfiction projects.
The Reading Public Museum has a great planetarium where people can go, relax, and learn. I find the entire experience exhilarating and I’ve enjoyed a number of their shows.
12. Amusement Parks
Amusement parks are the perfect setting for crime and mystery novels. Visit an amusement park and take notes of the scenery, the sounds, the smells, and, of course, the people.
13. Craft Store
It is only too easy to get lost in a craft store. There’s not only an endless supply of inspiration for craft books, but you can create a mystery novel series with crafting as a general theme. Got a sleuth in mind? Make him a knitter (and why not?). Give that diabolical axe murderer a latch hook project to complete the final piece to the murder puzzle.
14. Parks and Hiking Trails
This is where I get the bulk of my inspirations. That little nook in the rocks over there is the perfect place to hide a body. That woman that just walked by with the two dogs? She just threw the gun she used on her brother-in-law into the river.