a page out of one writer's notebook
I think that’s a pretty good definition. It also means that you are widely aware of the established patterns in order to know whether your idea breaks you out of them; to know if what you’re doing is indeed new and different enough. That’s why fiction writers are encouraged to read both inside and outside of their chosen genre. A critique partner of mine was scored low in a contest, not because her prose was unskilled. Indeed, she has a voice. But her tropes were clichéd and, in her case, she had used the same clichéd tropes in every book she’d written (about eight of them), because of the axiom “write what you know.” It’s definitely time for her to chose some different tropes and to put some creative twists on them.
Cathy, thanks again for such good observations. And you are right on target about the need to read both inside and outside of our chosen genre. So often in my reading I come across one of those creative twists you talk about and find myself wishing I could write like that. Then I remind myself to get back to work and see what it is I can do, not pattern myself after someone else. That's why I like to do word prompt/association exercises sometimes. And poetry. All that 'oiling the rusty wheels' of the brain kind of thing to get the words to flow easier... :-) Thanks for coming by. Always enjoy the discussion!
This is a very interesting topic. I agree creativity is thinking about something in a new way. The trick is defining "new." To me, individuals are creative when they are doing something new to THEM. So when I write a book in the first person, which is still fairly new to me, that's creative. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it's new to the rest of the world, so my attempts may not sell because it's been done before - a lot.
Peggy, thanks for your comment. There's a lot to be said for trying something that's new for you even if it's not 'new' in the total sense of the word. With that, a person exercises the right, creative, side of the brain, which in turn (hopefully) spurs one's writing to a unique voice different than others. It's a tough path we've chosen, isn't it?!
I try to do that with my photography-- find a new way to look at a scene that has been done a zillion times. If I succeed and like it then I feel I have tried to be more creative.
I agree. I think many people already do this naturally to some extent. Those who do not (or do not in a certain area) can benefit from examining things from various angles. It offers a fresh perspective. I try to cultivate this in my writing especially. Good topic! Have a great week! :)
Terri, isn't photography fun? What a great creative outlet. And seeking a new angle to a familiar scene is key to good writing. Enjoy snapping those photos :-)Karen, 'fresh perspective' is a good way to put it. Like Terri's example of photography, we need fresh perspectives in writing to bring words to life. Thanks for your input. Wishing you a great week back...