22 September 2012, Development - even more Fostering 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)?
We've looked at inherent creativity and learning creativity--now I want to move to the third aspect of improving and proving creativity--fostering creativity. In fostering creativity, you need to determine for yourself what is cathartic and what is filling. Those pursuits that fill your mind with creative thoughts are filling and those that sap your mind are cathartic. Writing is a cathartic process.
Many people in the past used writing as a release--that is cathartic. Today, you can do the same--that is the process of creativity in writing. The important point is to not waste your mind in unproductive catharsis. The main problem for many people in the modern world is they waste their energy in nonproductive activities. A writer can't afford this. You can also note the reason you might not feel able to write or feel unproductive in your writing--if you spend much of your time in activities that unfill your creative reservoir, you will not be able to write.
This, in my opinion, is the reason many writers get "writer's block." If you spend your time in cathartic activities, you won't be able to be creative. You will mistake this for "writer's block" when actually you've unfilled your creative reservoir. So, try this: spend time in some of the filling activities I mentioned yesterday and then sit down to write. Don't spend your time in unproductive activities and see how creative your writing might become. I'll look more at the filling and unfilling activities more tomorrow.
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/.