8 September 2012, Development - 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.
Anecdotally, I showed that creativity can be learned--note, I didn't say it could be taught. I'm not certain you can really teach anyone anything. In my experience learning is a one hundred percent individual and one way thing. That is, the receiver must be willing to learn and receive to get anything out of teaching. The best teacher in the world can be teaching with the best skills in the world to an unreceptive mind and no learning will take place. On the other hand, a person who wants to learn can learn anywhere from anyone...and a great teacher can learn from students (not usually the subject matter at hand).
If you want to improve your creativity, you must learn and no one can teach you. That is, you must be open and receptive to improving your creativity. I can outline some means to improve your creativity, but unless you actually take advantage of my recommendations, they will be worthless to you.
I should write this in bold letters, but I won't: to learn creativity, you must be willing to put in an enormous amount of effort. I could equally write, to learn to be a great writer, you must be willing to put in an enormous amount of effort. This is what I write all the time, you must write at least one million words to become a good writer. All that stuff you wrote in college and school really doesn't add up to much. You need to write about eight to ten novels (books) or 100 to 200 long short stories. Then your writing skills might begin to approach acceptability. Creativity takes an equal investment, and there are few shortcuts.
I'll write more about 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/.