Today begins a mini-series within this month-long series of the A-Z Challenge. I’ll be posting on three parts of the writing process: creating, drafting, and editing. Each post will be short, offering three insights into that stage of the process. It will by no means be comprehensive, but hopefully it will be fun and informative.
So, C is for create. The creation stage is the most difficult for me. Coming from a journalism background, I’m not used to inventing my stories. I’m more accustomed to stories finding me. Writing novels requires more imagination. And since my preferred genres tend to occur in alternate realities, my imagination has to stretch even further than the physical world as we know it. Luckily, as I covered in yesterday’s post on books, I’ve read enough to be able to identify a captivating plot when I land on one.
So what do I do to spark the creative process?
- Absorb stories everywhere. Whether it’s the news, books, music, movies, what have you, I’m always looking for a tiny idea I can lift out of something and then expand into something different.
- Keep an idea repository. In a notebook, in an app, anywhere that works. I’ve let too many ideas slip out of my consciousness because I didn’t write them down. Now I keep a Google Doc with all my story ideas and inspirations in it.
- Let imagination run wild. Quieting the mind for a while is a great way to refresh creativity. I find that the same wild imagination I had as a child is still there under the busyness and noise of life. There are lot of ways to calm the mind, and everyone is different, but a few that work for me are taking a walk, doing yoga, and going to a coffee shop alone.