Today's blog takes a look at the craft of creativity.
"Creativity has a craft?" you say...
Why, yes, I believe it does.
Well today's goal is creative thinking, which is important to creative writing because--well, they both use the word "creative."
Specifically, we're trying to come up with story premises! This, for many, is either the easiest or the hardest of tasks, but it is arguably essential to creative writing (free writing doesn't count yet, but we'll get to that). I have some foundational principles to talk about as well as some neat resources for you to look at.
So grab your feathery quill pens and your bottles of magic ink, cuz it's time for the Electric Didact!
1. Stay Narratively Driven
I've talked about this before in one of my first blogs, "Staying Close to Narrative." Stephen King boils down the craft of creative writing to two reciprocal axioms: 1. Read a lot; 2. Write a lot.
Additionally, as the late Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." This is exactly what Stephen King is talking about. The more you behave creatively, the easier it is to think creatively, which feeds back into the behave thing, which strengthens the think thing and...well, you get it.
Here are some resources I use to get my regular healthy dose of story:
Don't just read, listen to, or watch in the same genre or form in which you write. I guarantee that if you are driven only by the literary fuel of your own genre, your ideas will err on derivation and other sorts of unoriginality. Trust me.
Many writers seek out what basically amount to "support groups" with which to share their work and get feedback. While this can be helpful, it can easily become a crutch that actually inhibits your creativity. Group pressure is subtle like that. Instead, seek out an "accountability partner" who can help keep you diligent.
Part 2 will discuss the all-important tool of learning new things. See you then.
Jedd Cole is a professional writer and author of short speculative fiction. He resides in Ohio where he is completing a degree in Rhetoric & Professional Writing, crafting short stories in every time-nook he can find, all while frequenting the pages of imaginary worlds with his wonderful wife, Heather, and no pets. None.