Curiosity-driven writing: How to use unexpected details effectively

 In Monday Motivation, Richard Beynon's blog

Have you ever found yourself lost in the depths of the internet, sliding down endless rabbit holes? What if I told you that these seemingly random detours could be the secret to unlocking your next great writing idea?

In this week’s subscriber only Monday Writing Motivation I describe how I spotted a modest wildflower against a fence, took a casual photograph, identified the wildflower, and allowed myself to slip down that rabbit hole with Alice to discover that the flower was associated both with medieval burial practices – and immortality.


Here are five practical tips to use what might seem like a time-wasting activity to transform your writing:

Embrace serendipitous research: Allow yourself to explore seemingly unrelated topics and let curiosity guide your research. Unexpected details can enrich your writing with authenticity and depth.

Use details to add depth to your characters: Incorporate specific, researched details into your characters to make them more vivid and believable.

Turn research into story material: Use your research findings to create plot points or interactions between characters. Details can inspire entire scenes or conflicts in your narrative.

Incorporate layers of meaning: Look for opportunities to add layers to your story. Simple details can carry significant weight and contribute to thematic depth when used thoughtfully.

Follow your interests for authenticity: Write about what genuinely interests you. Your passion and curiosity will naturally lead to more engaging and authentic writing.


Curiosity and open-minded exploration are a vital part of the writing process and can add to your writing in unexpected and meaningful ways.

If you want to know how I plan to use my research in a story, sign up for my subscriber only Monday Writing Motivation, and you’ll have instant access to this week’s ‘You never know what lies down the next rabbit hole’.

Happy writing


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