4 September 2012, Development - 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.
Inherent creativity is what you were born with. I think this is very simple. Part of creativity is the mental makeup of the mind, just as athletic skills are the physical makeup of the body. Some people have an advantage physically because they received the right genes and physical makeup. Just as some people didn't, or worse, some people are physically or mentally handicapped from birth, some people just never received the creative spark. Fortunately, I rarely find people who want to be creative who do not have the basic skills to be creative. That is, if a person wishes to be creative, that usually indicates they have the mental skills to be creative.
Let's continue the example of an athlete. Many athletes don't have the physical skills and ability to be Olympic contenders or professionals, but they still have athletic skills. The most average human can apply learned and fostered athleticism to improve and succeed where others fail. Athletics isn't the most perfect example because those without the advantage of high genetic perfection (for physical skills) will likely not be able to compete at a very high level. Mental skills and capability can be improved to a much greater degree than physical skills.
Creativity has a component that is inherent, but if you desire to be creative--that means you likely already have the spark and capability. The problem then is fostering the capability. That's where fostered and learned creativity come into play. More 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/.