Sunday, November 18, 2012

How Does Creativity Work?

Good Sunday morning!  After a bit of a slump, I'm immensely happy to say that my creativity has returned.  I was starting to get worried- thought I'd have to put out wanted posters or something.

After having been in a time of decreased creativity/inspiration, I'm amazed at how the whole thing works now that it's back.  I'm really curious if this is how it works for other writers and/or how your creative mind works. I'm at the plotting/outlining stage of my current WIP, a novel that takes place almost entirely inside the mind of a person in a coma. For me, this is how the process works:

1) I decide what idea I want to work on.  I have a constantly growing list of ideas for novels, and the order of importance is constantly changing.  I usually narrow it down to a couple of possibilities, then kind of feel it out- I sit back and see comes to mind.  If I keep envisioning scenes from a certain story, that one is the winner.

2) I go flower picking.  Seriously.  It's like wandering through a field of flowers picking whatever beauty catches my eye.  I pin pictures to pinterest that evoke some element of the story I want to write- scenery, characters, villains, clothing, etc. I daydream about what might happen in the story. I listen to music and pick up on the themes.

3) I get out my notebook and start a character page for at least the two main characters (I always have romance, so there's at least the two love interests).  I jot down things like their physical attributes, likes and dislikes, character flaws/strengths, and motivations.

4) By this point I've probably envisioned at least one "scene".  I'll be driving to work, taking  a shower, or just generally minding my own business when my mind takes a vacation to an imaginary world.  It's like watching a movie in my head.  This is my absolute FAVORITE part of the process.  I label a page in the notebook for that scene and write down whatever it is I need to re-create it later.  Sometimes this is a detailed spinning exercise, sometimes it's more of a general outline.  If there are bits of dialogue or something that I really want to remember, I put it here.

5) I keep gathering snatches of the story until I think I have enough to start writing.  Sometimes this requires me to hold back.  The anticipation of actually starting the writing is amazing ;)  Then, when I think I've got most of the story more or less plotted out in my head, I arrange all of my little scenes into a rough order.

6)Then I start writing.  More scenes or changes to the existing ones arise as I go.  I add details, I weave together the snatches of "movie" that I've been seeing in my head for the last couple of weeks/month.

How does the creative process work for you?  Do you imagine something first, then put it all together (like I do) or do you make an outline/plot and THEN think up scenes to make it happen?  (The thought of doing it that way makes me feel uncomfortable, but from what I've read about plotting, it sounds like a lot of people might do it that way :)

Also, do you see scenes in your head?  My mind is like my own personal movie theater....

(PS: the title of this pic is "furious creativity"- it kind of feels like that sometimes, doesn't it?)


  1. Interesting topic how creativity works. I know with me I need quiet time, space, stories.

  2. Hey!

    Just dropping by to see how you're doing. Hope I see you around soon.



I'd love to hear your musings :)