14 September 2012, Development - The Languages of 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)?
What is appropriate writing? What is appropriate study? What is appropriate life and experiences? The answer to these questions provides the focus to learn creativity. I'm looking at music and I made the point that if you really like music, you will want to study it. Study it means to really use your intellect to understand it. That means you study the history of music, the composers of music, the details or music. I'm not certain how I can make this more clear. A person who is really interested in music will invest enormous amounts of time in its study.
So I can write with great accuracy that if you "like" music, you will pursue the creative. Now, there is a next step for the truly creative soul--this is the point entire. If you "like" music to the degree I've described it, and you have studied it; the next step is to make it yourself.
Singing is most common. If you have studied music, you will have learned the language of music--that means you can read music. Here is the real test. If someone says they love France, but they don't know the language, you'd look at them a little funny... how can a person love France if they can't communicate in French? Likewise, if someone says they love astrophysics but can't do the math in astrophysics or don't understand the basics of orbital mechanics, you'd conclude that they really don't like astrophysics. A person who really likes music has studied and knows the language of music.
As I wrote before, knowing the language of a thing (culture) allows you to study and immerse yourself in that thing (culture). Don't you remember? If you "like" music, you will study music, which means you will learn the language of music, which means...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/.