Guest post: How To Use Familiar Surroundings To Write Reality Into Fantasy by Andy Barten

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of writing what we know, is brought to you by Andy Barten.

How To Use Familiar Surroundings To Write Reality Into Fantasy

If you are a writer, you probably know the world that surrounds you and the situations you find yourself a part of can contribute greatly to your creative visions. Sometimes, though, writers can have writer’s block which makes it difficult to come up with even the easiest of ideas to write about. If you are a writer looking for some inspiration, here are ways you can use familiar surroundings to write reality into fantasy.

1. Observe People

Observing people can give you great inspiration for writing. Spend a few hours hanging out in a public place like a mall or other heavily populated area and just become a people watcher. Each person has their own inner story and it can be very interesting to figure out what that story might be. Observing people and imagining their stories may help you to develop characters in your own written work.

2. Visit A Park

If you really want to blend reality with fantasy, there is no better thing you can do than go on a nature walk through the woods. Not only will the scenery be helpful with providing the scenic backdrop for your story, but it may get your creative juices really going when you think about the tiny creatures that might live in trees. Visiting a park will help to provide you with plenty of inspiration for your writing endeavors.

3. Your Family

Families can be a great source of inspiration when using the familiar to write reality into fantasy. Family relationships can often be difficult, yet rewarding, and the dynamics of family relationships can often lead to an abundance of material for what you want to write about.

4. Drive Around Town

A lot of stories are created using some sort of town setting, and you can easily find inspiration for this by cruising around your home town. Maybe your town includes a neighborhood full of beautiful and majestic homes and you’d like to include a neighborhood like that in your story. Or, maybe there is a colorful character your town is known for and you’d like to obtain inspiration from him or her to add a little something special to your story. Just take a drive and look around town and you’ll be surprised at how much inspiration surrounds you.

5. A Difficult Relationship

Perhaps you are involved in a difficult relationship and you’d like to use parts of it as inspiration for your written work. Difficult relationships happen to many people, and there is much that can be learned through these types of relationships. Perhaps in your story, a difficult person becomes one who is the voice of reason in your story. Or, you can help shed light to the difficulties in relationships that many people deal with.

If you are looking for the creative inspiration needed to write, all you need to do is look around your familiar situations to turn reality into fantasy. If you try each of the above 5 listed tips, chances are you will suddenly be inspired to write the book you’ve always wanted to.

That would be great. Thank you, Andy!

Andy Barten writes about literature, self-help & finding affordable quotes for group health insurance.


If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with romantic comedy author Samantha Stroh Bailey – the five hundred and fifty-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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