1. rodney adams
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    rodney adams Member

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    Creativity help

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by rodney adams, Feb 20, 2013.

    Hello, writers! I'm new here and am eager to start creative writing as a hobby. However, I am generally an extremely analytical and thoughtful person so it's hard for me to be creative. Any suggestions on exercises that would be helpful in boosting my creativity? Any response is very much appreciated! Thank you
     
  2. Bimber
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    Bimber Contributing Member

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    Hi and welcome!
    read, write than do some more reading... its hard to start just like anything else buy once you trained your brain it comes natural

    What sort of thing you like to write about?
     
  3. popsprocket
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    popsprocket Member

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    I suppose the general advice given here is to write down the ideas that you have. Have a notebook that you keep those ideas in. I find that writing my ideas down just once allows me to remember them in detail, and then once they're in my head I can think them over, let original ideas spawn more ideas and let everything mingle around.
     
  4. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    First off, eliminate fluoride from your life, or at least limit the intake. Haha...

    But no, in all seriousness, it's a good idea.

    Secondly, creativity, or, more specifically, the ability to generate a plethora of ideas is not exactly something that can be learned, per se. It can be expanded upon, for sure. The good news? The tools are already inside of you!

    Also, need not to worry. Having an analytical or logical mind is an absolute treasure when it comes to revising. It'll help you structure plot sequence, develop character action and consequence, what goes here, what goes there.

    You'll need every piece of matter found within both brains, for sure.

    Start paying attention to things you care about, things that set your mind off--you know, those moments where you're running through thought after thought and your mind's eye is taking you to different places, some close, some far away, replaying or recreating conversations, acting out different scenes, speculating about how your date is going to go, what she's going to look like, what he's going to wear, whatever.

    You've probably been writing all your life without knowing it. You just haven't put pen to paper.

    These are all instances where your mind is turned on, and you're drifting through inifite possibility, metaphysically speaking, of course.

    Long walks, drives, monotonous activities--all of these kinds of things put your body in 'auto-pilot,' giving your mind freedom to roam.

    The advice about keeping a notebook for ideas is fantastic, for some will strike you at the worst possible moment, and you'll definitely forget it, no matter how hard you promise yourself you've memorized the concept. A journal is a fantastic practice for bringing clarity to the mind, for clear thinking makes for clear writing.

    Brush up on some grammars, too. Once you get those juices flowing, you're going to want to have decent structure. The more confident you are in your grammar, the less you'll fiddle around in a rough draft, and a rough draft is where you want to vomit everything unto the page.

    The better news? You'll get to revise it all later, so those mistakes can, and will, always be fixed.

    Also, just start writing. Understand a lot of it's going to be effing trash, a lot of ramblings, pretentious and self-absorbed rantings, but slowly, and surely, your scope will widen, and you'll start seeing stories for what they truly are--conflict and character, and you'll begin to focus on those things. You'll no longer be spouting off your opinions, you'll be disguising them through your character's POV of the world (wink wink), and, also, you'll be seeing things through the eyes of people you may never have met, thus creating an opportunity for you to develop new insights, new opinions, new perspectives, to build upon and grow as a person.

    It's a wonderful thing. If you've caught the bug, you've already been feeling the tug, and it will keep tugging, until you cave, so you might as well cave sooner then later.

    Start flexing those damn muscles and your brain will follow suit, trust me.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good advice and caring encouragement, gg...

    btw, since 'per se' [per say (sic)] is a latin term it always requires the latin spelling...
     
  6. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Hello there, Rodney Adams!

    When I fancy a challenge or even just an exercise like you're after, then I tend to use the website Seventh Sanctum. Follow this link (http://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-writ.php) and then click on one of the titles that grabs your attention. Doing so will generate ideas and quick story ideas for you to get started, so for example, it might say "write a story with a crossbow in it." This may seem a little vague, but this will be good for your creativity. And remember that you don't have to begin by writing a novel - even one scene is good enough when getting started!

    Welcome aboard. :)
     
  7. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    or join an RPG - just google whatever genre you're into followed by RPG and jump in head first - you'll see how other people's brains work and you'll quickly find your feet
     
  8. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    I would never try to discourage a new writer, so don't take this the wrong way...
    I can't imagine wanting to write without already having a story you have to tell. An old friend of mine got in touch with me recently. I told him of my accomplishments as a writer, and he told me he had written a book too. Of course, by "had written" he meant it was all in his head and he only had to put it on paper (like that's the easy part :rolleyes:) So, wanting to encourage him, I asked him what it was about. I immediately recognized it as "Flight of the Navigator" and then I remembered that he "had written" it 25 years ago. He had a story in him that he had to tell alright, but it wasn't his story.
    Some may argue otherwise, but to me creativity isn't something you can learn. You can become more creative, certainly. You can even learn to bring it forth on demand. But you can't turn lead into gold.
    Like I said, I'm not trying to discourage anyone. You could have a surprising well of creativity that you're not aware of yet. So here's what I suggest you do:
    Instead of trying to be creative, just try writing. Keep pen and paper beside your bed and write down what you dream. When you watch a tv show or movie, write it all down afterwards. Write every day, it doesn't matter what. Start a blog or even just a journal. Put your analytical mind to work and write a "How to" book on whatever it is you're an expert in. There is seriously good money in non-fiction, just so you know. You don't even have to be an expert, you just have to know how to research.
    Writers write. Don't forget, journalists are also writers
     
  9. Merkabah
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    Merkabah New Member

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    Not sure if this will help seeing as how I'm new to this too and afflicted with the same problems, But I find running through wikipedia helps me. I take a look at a page for a subject I don't know a lot about and follow links untill something clicks. It can be anything. Sometimes, quite frequently really, it'll happen in a completely different subject than I started with and may not even have anything to do with the page I end up on.
     
  10. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Thankyee for the correction, mamma, did not know that.

    made the edit...
     
  11. Shadywood
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    Shadywood Member

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    To get your creative writing juices flowing, try the website www.oneword.com It is a great writing exercise - pop onto it once a day, take a minute of your time. I find it really makes your mind whirl!
     
  12. rodney adams
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    rodney adams Member

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    Thank you all for responding! Golden Ghost, what did you mean by that bit about fluoride? Thanks, Shadywood and Thomas, those sites really helped!
     
  13. GhostWolfe
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    GhostWolfe Member

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    Thank you for this link. Earlier today I discovered that I'd left home without my ideas book & had managed to save some files I wanted in the wrong format, leaving me with time to kill & nothing to do. This is exactly the sort of writing exercise I would have loved to turn to.

    I keep a folder of ideas, but sometimes I'll be going through & all of them just fail to inspire, so it's nice to have creativity exercises to help get the brain ticking over :)
     
  14. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    www.oneword.com - love it! thank you
     
  15. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Your imagination, like anything else, will improve with practise. And, as has been previously said, it's a good idea to carry a notebook and pen - use free moments (in queues etc) scribbling ideas.
     
  16. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    Think about what you want to come up with. Example, maybe your character is rich and you want intriguing details on how he gets rich. Then go do something where you have to occupy yourself but free to think. So maybe jogging, driving, working ect.
    Your bound to come up with something satisfying eventually. Go out and interact with the world more and you'll get new ideas.
     
  17. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    Like some people here say, I dont believe creativity can be learned. That being said, I dont think anyone is born without the ability to be creative either. When we are children, we are all creative, and we will draw amazing things (in our eyes), make up beautiful stories and say clever things, but as we grow, we slowly learn that our society do not place all that much value on the creative thought process, and just like any skill, our creativity slowly wither and die.

    I also believe anyone can regain this ability though. You just have to keep trying, keep writing, keep drawing, keep painting, or whatever it is that is your thing, and slowly you will get better. I dont think it is possible to think up a great idea on demand. Great ideas come and go, and what makes you a truly creative person is the ability to pick up on these ideas when they come to you. That is why it can be a good idea to always keep a notebook on hand, and write down every idea that come to you. Most of the notes you make wont be good for anything other than getting a fire started, but occasionally, the good idea will be there. If you have trained yourself to recognize these ideas, then you can harvest your potential and be a creative being as well.

    That is my 2 cents anyway.
     
  18. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    I got out of this by watching whole series of Spongebob squarepants
     
  19. GoldenGhost
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    GoldenGhost Contributing Member

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    Fluoride stills creativity, hardening the pineal gland (third eye). It makes you more docile, and easily influenced by external forces, like a log of wood floating down a river, hard and without life, always with the current.

    Just do some google searches.
     
  20. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    Here's a tip you might find helpful: write even when you don't feel inspired. I know that sounds like an insurmountable task, but it's not that hard. If your hero has to cross a ravine, what's the most obvious way to do it? A bridge, right? So you write that he crosses the bridge. Now mark the passage in your word processor. When you edit, revise the marked passages. This time, the bridge is old and parts of it are falling into the rushing water below. Your hero nearly dies crossing it as it collapses under him and only his quick thinking saves him. That's better, but cliche. So you mark it again for the next revision. This time, there is no bridge. The hero must cross by climbing down the cliff and back up the other side. It's rough and slows him down. When he gets back on his path, he realizes he's lost a lot of time and must hurry. It still isn't brilliant, but now it has added tension to the story, which is way better.
    Have the courage to write badly and the wisdom to revise well.
     
  21. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Loved GG's post - what he said about the self-absorbed ramblings at the beginning of your writing journey is so true haha. I think it's okay though, because in your rough draft, you're only concerned about the main message, so it's natural to end up preaching a little sometimes. Writing is like building a body for me - your rough draft is only your pile of bones, your first draft is that skeleton on which you're gonna hang everything else. As you go through more and more edits, you're adding layer after layer, muscles, sinews, tendons, skin until finally your entire novel beats with a heart and a soul and you know it is finished, and it is good :)

    Sorry it doesn't really answer your question haha :-D; Read a lot - I find reading often inspires me. Fantasy art also inspires me. Depending on what you find stimulating, go after that activity, and to be honest, 90% of creativity is simply a lot of thinking. Think think think think. Creativity is not always easy - it is hard work - but it's a heck of a lot of fun too :D
     
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  22. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    My thought is to come up with an idea, any crazy idea and start writing it.

    For example, as I type this, I am typing up a small story about a catgirl with albinism who hunts down a thief with her crossbow because he stole her family ruby. Will this ever see light of day? God, no, but it helps stir my creativity.

    It's also good practice to help stifle your inner critic as you type. Mine is saying, "Woah, woah, what the hell? A catgirl with albinism chasing thieves with crossbows? This can't be right. How does she do xyz? Where does she live? Develop her world first! Do this! Do that! THIS IS TOTAL SHIT!"

    I'm telling it, "I know. I also don't give a crap."

    Our inner critic is both our greatest friend, and our worst foe.

    EDIT: And most importantly, keep those stories that you write, even if you won't ever publish them. They may help you discover a story you actually would want to write!
     
  23. slamdunk
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    slamdunk Member

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    Hm, why do you want to be creative, is it that important? (maybe you don't try to be creative, I can see how this thread could work as a somewhat fun joke too, but I will try to address your post as if it was written by someone genuinely asking).

    So you are "extremely analytical and thoughtful" how does this show? Did you assume that you are analytical and thoughtful based on being good in school and able to absorb facts or have you actually analyzed something like world hunger or traffic jams and came up with a solution or what? There is nothing that says that analytical abilities will make it impossible to be creative. Many great scientist such as Einstein or Leonardo da Vinci has (probably) been both analytical and thoughtful yet creative enough to come up with new (amazing?) stuff.

    I think its possible to kill your creativity in numerous ways (or have others kill it for you). It can be a good idea to identify such "obstacles" as they can be very harmful if you do nothing about them. What these creativity killers are can be so different for different people. Maybe you are in the wrong environment to be creative at the moment (some can't work in a loud environment or a big room, while others love just that), maybe you can be more creative if you get more fresh air by opening a window or turn on a tv-show about cleaning toilets. Maybe there is some other issues in your life that must be solved first before you can focus on writing creatively.

    Your description of yourself such as "extremely analytical" makes me think that maybe you suffers from the Dunning–Kruger effect. If you are that analytical then why haven't you been able to analyze this problem and reach a solution or at least a good explanation other than "this is just how it is because I'm so smart"? Basically you sound like someone who want an excuse to gives up when facing an obstacle. Maybe you are just a dreamer and quitter, maybe you know nothing except what people spoon feed you with, maybe you are not as analytical as you think (and therefor can't come up with anything creative?).

    One could argue that its better to work your strengths than trying to fix weaknesses. Its possible that you will reach a better result if you do stuff that benefits a lot from being "extremely analytical and thoughtful" than if you try to be creative all the time? I know for instance that I don't have the potential to become the fastest runner at 100 meters. So I don't go down that route.

    I'm sure there are many many interesting stuff that can be written in a analytical way too. And if you do some new analysis that makes people think different about a subject then that is creativity too (the Animal Farm by George Orwell is basically just a long critical analysis of a system and its leaders).

    Good luck.
     

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