11 September 2012, Development - and even yet more Learning Creativity
Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Here are my rules of writing:
1. Entertain your readers.
2. Don't confuse your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don't show (or tell) everything.
Creativity is work and not an act of divine providence, random fate, or abstract accident. Creativity is hard work that is equal to the effort expended on it. If you wish to write (or be creative in any way): study, put lots of effort into it, and work hard at it.
The question then is how do you work at creativity? I think there are three parts to creativity: inherent creativity, learned creativity, and fostered creativity.
Embedded in the following questions is the way to learn creativity. Basically, to learn creativity, you must practice being creative. Without the spark of inherent creativity, this will be impossible, but if you have any touch of creativity, doing the above will bring out your creativity.
1. Do you like art (1)?
2. Have you created quality art (3)?
3. Do you like music (1)? (all kinds not just one type or another)
4. Have you written any music (3)?
5. Have you written any lyrics (3)?
6. Do you play any instrument (2)?
7. Do you like to sing (1)?
8. Do you sing in parts (2)?
9. Do you like to read (1)?
10. Do you like to write (2)?
11. Have you written any poetry (3)?
12. Have you written any stories (3)?
13. Have you written a novel (4)?
14. Have you written a book (4)?
15. Do you get great ideas (2)?
16. Have you ever successfully implemented your great idea (3)?
17. Do you like plays, musicals, opera, or ballet (1)?
18. Have you acted in a play, musical, opera, or ballet (2)?
19. Have you written a play, musical, opera, or ballet (4)?
I wrote before that for a writer to write about anything, they must have knowledge about their subject. I wrote that a writer of historical fiction should spend years in study. The author of cultural fiction (including historical fiction) should spend years in cultural study and immersion. A science fiction author must study science. If you think this is trivial learning, you are fooling yourself.
The author of normal literary fiction needs to spend time alive. Jack Vance makes a constant theme of life experience that drives creative or artistic experience. I take it that Jack Vance is writing about life. If you have read the writing of earnest young writers, you know most of the time, their writing skills are poor, but their subjects and treatment of their topics is naive. Not only is it naive, it usually is not very creative. What turns earnest young writers into skilled authors? Usually, lots of writing (1 million words worth), lots of appropriate living and experiences, and lots of appropriate study.
Note, I used the word "appropriate" more than once. I could have added a few more appropriates. What you study, what you write, what you live and experience are all critical to learning creativity and becoming a skillful and creative writer.
I'll write more about how to spend your time in developing creativity tomorrow.
The following is a question asked by one of my readers. I'm going to address this over time: Please elaborate on scene, theme, plot, character development in a new novel creation....ie, the framework, the development, order if operation, the level of detail, guidelines, rule of thumb, tricks, traps and techniques. To what extent do you outline the historic context, culture, mannerism, speech, dress and thought process of the main characters, in a historic novel...in order to maintain integrity, and gradually (help) reveal attributes of a character in the story, or otherwise clarify the plot, scene, transition, tension or resolution?
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonorhttp://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.