Saturday, March 10, 2012

On Circuses, Invention, and Memorable Characters

"But the stories that astonish us, the characters that live forever in our memories--those are the result of rich imagination, perceptive observation, rigorous interrogation, and careful decision-making...When it comes to storytelling, invention is the mother of astonishment, delight and truth." --Orson Scott Card, Characters and Viewpoint

Went to the circus the other night, hubby and I, along with friends Vic and Connie (thanks for the glow-in-the-dark necklace, Connie!). Can you think of any better place for a writer to go to fuel up their creative tank?? It's a place that gives a nod to Mr. Card's list of elements for inventing stories and characters:  imagination, astonishment, and delight. Added to that, there's also...



the unexpected


color and humor

stunning conclusions

What about you? From what did you draw a sense of rekindled imagination this week? Hope it was as much fun as the circus.

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone...


  1. I've been grading papers all week - in general, not as much fun as the circus. :) While the topics rarely do much for my imagination (and that's a good thing - they're supposed to be factual), I do draw a certain rekindling of purpose from them. That's a good thing, too. For imagination, I'll just look at your terrific circus photos!


  2. Love this post, and the images to go with it! I'm still at my sister's place, but finally got a little time to browse my favorite blogs. I love that quote you have at the beginning of the post~ even if it's a bit intimidating! I found myself thinking, "Gosh...that's what I need to be doing!" I've never gone into story brainstorming with the intention of creating something that astonishes~ that truly leaves a mark. That's an inspiring tall order :)

  3. Peggy--I'd say you're doing your own kind of "character building," teaching students like you do! Good luck on the grading :) And who knows, there might be an unusual answer or two that will surprise you...

    Jess--so good to hear from you :-) I've thought of you and your sister from time to time. I hope she's doing okay...

    And like you, I find Card's quote a little intimidating, too, but I have to believe that in some way, somehow, these tidbits are taking root in the mind and helping the writer's growth process. Hope so, anyway! Wishing you the best...

  4. Not sure anything could be as fun as the circus. :)I love the quote from Card. Thank you.