Boost Your Creativity: Create Starters

View-from-the-starting-line-at-Indianapolis-mo...
View-from-the-starting-line-at-Indianapolis-motor-speedway-1985 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d like to go back to the quotation by Lyn Hejinian that started this arc of blogs. I, for one, feel the double pull of conciseness and expansiveness. But they do not need to be at odds with one another. In fact, your personal balance of these two helps determine your style.

When I started using starters, my writing became concise to the point of being limited in scope and voice. It took some time to realize the problem was not with me but with the type of starter I was using. Most starters use contemporary scenarios. I write medieval fantasy. So I started written starters that played to my strengths. Once I started writing my own starters, I saw several possibilities for self-made starters.

Relevance. Not everyone writes contemporary prose or poetry. And most starters out there have contemporary set-ups. And you may have trouble finding starters that fit your needs. A few examples of this are characters, setting, and theme.

Scene seeds. A natural next step is to use starters as scene prompts. If you are having trouble getting a creative start, I suggest brainstorming several starters. then experiment with merging several into a more complex starter. And/or try triangulation (explained in an earlier blog in this series).

Outlining for pansters. Not being a pantser myself, I am on shaky ground here. But I think that when inspiration disappears, pansters are even more stuck than plotsters. Creating your own starters might circumvent this by providing a starting point for a scene. And the next.

Once you get used to making your own starters, I think you will find them far more helpful than the ready-made ones. If you like, make one now and share it here.

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