10 September 2012, Development - and 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 don't think that just writing will make you a creative person. If you look at the lives of successful writers, you will find that they were successful and many times very special people. Very rarely will you find a writer whose life has been unexciting or undistinguished. For a well known author, in comparison to their popularity to their writing, their life might seem undistinguished, but authors are generally known for their travels and experiences.
For example, look at Ernest Hemingway. He was a great traveler and roust-about. He participated as an ambulance driver in WWI. Oddly enough, many great writers from Hemingway's period participated in WWI as ambulance drivers or medics. Shakespeare was an actor as well as a producer. His travels might not have taken him from Britain, but his creativity was evident outside of writing. Ayn Rand escaped from the USSR and travelled widely. She entertained and was entertained by many important people. George Orwell actually lived some of the life he describes in his novel Down and Out in London and Paris. He likewise was well traveled.
And here is some very important information for writing and creativity. Although we are discussing creativity, most authors are well travelled and experienced in many cultures. Many are conversant and comfortable in an aristocratic drawing room or at a state dinner. I have also spent a lot of time traveling and at parties of all levels. My experience allows me to write authoritatively about such events and many other situations. Creativity is a skill with a basis.
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/.