So how do I see creativity? What do I think is creativity? And how can the answers to this help you become more creative?
Creativity isn’t really making something out of nothing. It has a foundation of known subjects. “I ate the purple apple” is a creative idea but I didn’t create either the idea of “purple” or “apple”, only combined them unexpectedly. And it works because you already know that “purple” is a color and that an “apple” has a color — you just didn’t expect that color to be purple! I think that when people say “how creative!” what they are really saying is “how unexpected!”
But wait! Suppose I instead wrote “I ate the octopus apple”. This sentence doesn’t make sense because even though the idea is creative, it lacks logic. It is creative nonsense — fun, but probably useless without a lot of backstory, world-building, or some other type of explanation.
This is why I think creativity is “the use of logic in unexpected ways”. This principle can be expanded to characters and settings, but also (maybe especially) to plot points.
How can you use this definition to increase your creativity? Let’s look at just three ways: studying, scheming, and using starters (prompts). There is a lot to each of these so I will take three days to cover each with you. The first day offers you some basic techniques. The second day helps you apply what you have learned to the larger scope of your work in progress. The third day is for random thoughts and examples. But feel free to leave comments and questions along the way! Okay, here’s the line-up:
– study your real world
– study your fiction world
– studying to improve creativity (reflections)
– brainstorm ideas
– experiment with ideas
– scheming to improve creativity (reflections)
– use starters
– create starters
– using starters to improve creativity (reflections)