Story Structure: Lock or Key?

…But structure, when used simply as a shortcut can become a lock on our creativity…

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MOTIVATION: Productive Pastimes

By Alina Chase When you need well-deserved downtime, instead of completely shutting your creative brain down with mind-numbing movies or games, make quality time with your favorite (and least favorite) authors a creative learning experience. Read A Great Book—Again. It’s relaxing, entertaining and motivating. For a quick shot of inspiration, read a few bookmarked passages […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Create Starters

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 […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Use Starters

Starters are writing prompts. A starter can be a set of rules, a pool of words, a scenario, a quotation, a picture, or any combination of these. When placed in your fiction world, starters can help you explore characters, setting, and craft. Character. Starters help you learn about your view-point character by placing him/her in […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Scheme

Sometimes creativity needs a little prompting. It is useful to have several plans of action in place for when inspiration refuses to strike. Maybe it just isn’t angry enough. Brainstorming and experimenting offer a fallback plan. They also offer a way to enhance those inspired ideas. They are ways to be more creative but I […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Experiment

Creativity is about more than ideas — it is also about the consequences those ideas have for your story. I chose the word “experiment” in the title of this blog because experiments focus on finding or exploring cause-and-effect relationships. I realize that a consequence is a kind of idea but thinking about an idea’s consequences […]

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Boost Your Creativity: Brainstorm

By studying your real and fantasy worlds, you gained a better grounding in facts, rules, opinions, and possibilities. Some of what you learn will probably trigger spontaneous ideas. But what can you do when the words just won’t come? You scheme — come up with a plan of action. The first step is usually brainstorming. The […]

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