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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

You’re watching TV, when suddenly, in a commercial, you see a smartly dressed guy with a slick haircut driving a cool car and you think, there’s my antagonist.  He’s suave, good-looking, and acts like a charming guy on the surface, but deep down, he’s truly evil.  That’s the creative seed.  An external idea that gives rise to your fully developed creation.

Sprout in a Lightbulb by TakingITGlobal

The alternative is to sit and think.  To pore over mental lists of potential character traits and physical characteristics until you’ve built the basis for that ingratiating character out of complete nothingness.

Creating is something that I think everyone enjoys in one form or another, and people go about it in many different ways.  One person might like to sit in the dark and close themselves off from the world until a thought speaks to them, while another person goes out to get inspired by strolling through a museum and experiencing work that others have done.  “Inspired?” you say.  “But inspiration is a seed in its own right.”  Well, it is and it isn’t.  Inspiration can sometimes be directly related to your subject matter, but I think it’s often a more general concept.  Searching for inspiration doesn’t necessarily mean mining for ideas.  It just means you’re getting a motivational boost from some sort of significant experience.  I think the late Mitch Hedberg summed it up well in one of his jokes:

I like when they say a movie’s inspired by a true story, ’cause that’s weird.  It means the movie’s not a true story—it was just inspired by a true story.  Like, ‘Hey Mitch, did you hear the story about that lady who drove her children into the river and they all drowned?’

     ‘Yes I did, and that inspired me to write a movie about a gorilla!’

One technique is not better than the other.  In fact, I bet most people regularly use a combination of both seed and thought, whether consciously or not.  We often hear of writers who have moulded plots around historical events, artists who draw their characters to resemble people they’ve known, and actors who include well-known peoples’ mannerisms in their roles.  Contrarily, we have books containing completely original worlds and stories, and paintings depicting landscapes that never existed.  And in most cases, the basis is not even the most important part.  As long as the imaginative development is there, the end result will be a good one.

Image: TakingITGlobal via Wikimedia Commons

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From Dictionary.com:

—noun

1. constant or close application or effort; diligence; industry.

2. assiduities, devoted or solicitous attentions.

Wordsmith Wednesdays made-up example sentence:

It was with much assiduity that the engineers were able to repair the bridge so quickly.

 
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From Dictionary.com:

—adjective

1. utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; thoroughly dissolute.

2. recklessly prodigal or extravagant.

—noun

3. a profligate person.

Wordsmith Wednesdays made-up example sentence:

Profligates are frequently created in the spotlight, being of equal parts fame, money and attitude.

 
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The moon was the subject for Sonia’s writing challenge this month. I sure hope “moonlight” counts. Roll film! Er . . . story.

Update 2012/05/23:
Apologies, but due to the subsequent editing of this short story, I have removed it from the blog indefinitely.

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From Dictionary.com:

—verb (used with object)

1. to pursue or direct (one’s way).

—verb (used without object)

2. to proceed or go.

Wordsmith Wednesdays made-up example sentence:

We had to wend through the crowds of the bazaar to reach the city proper.

 
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From Dictionary.com:

—noun

1. a person who forsakes his religion, cause, party, etc.

Wordsmith Wednesdays made-up example sentence:

He knew that turning his back on his brotherhood would be risky, since they hunted down all apostates.

 
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From Dictionary.com:

—adjective

1. of an unnatural or sickly pallor; pallid; lacking color: His wan face suddenly flushed.

2. showing or suggesting ill health, fatigue, unhappiness, etc.: a wan look; a wan smile.

3. lacking in forcefulness, competence, or effectiveness: their wan attempts to organize the alumni.

Wordsmith Wednesdays made-up example sentence:

Now fighting fit, the stray had been wan and lethargic when they first took it in.

 
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