I love writing novels, but like just about anyone may, I get stuck. Sometimes I just get to a point where I'm not sure what to do with the story from there. What then? Sometimes I speak with a trusted friend, in my case, usually my husband, and just talking about what point of my plot has me stuck takes care of the problem. Other times I turn to research.
Research? You may be asking yourself. But you write fiction. Yes, I do write fiction, but I've also found that research really, really helps me integrate my plot, characters, and location so that the story flows well.
For example, in my first novel, Shawna, the 16 year-old heroine, meets Camulos, an ancient Celtic war god when she travels to Belgium. Initially, I was going to write about her meeting a Greek or Roman war god (in my books they're not the same person.) When researching, I learned that in the Arlon region in southern Belgium, the Belgae tribe had historically worshiped the Celtic god Camulos. In fact the modern-day symbol of the region of Arlon is the wild boar, the same as the symbol of Camulos. This discovery impacted the development of my character and storyline and allowed me to closely tie my characters and plot to the locale.
There are many more such examples I could give, and perhaps will in future blog posts as I write more about finding inspiration.