June 10th, 2011

Fireworks Delight

Writing Excuses 6.1: Can Creativity Be Taught?

Writing Excuses 6.1: Can Creativity Be Taught?

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/06/05/writing-excuses-6-1-can-creativity-be-taught/

Key points: Some people pick up creativity faster than others, but anyone can learn to be creative. Simple creativity is combining two things that have not been combined before. Creativity starts with curiosity. Asking questions! Take an object, ask why is it like this, and think about what it would be like if it were different. Substitution is fundamental creativity. Try taking an existing story plot -- fairytale -- and changing one element. Ask people to give you random elements, and build a story. Play off expectations, replacing it with something unexpected. Change the context! But beyond synthesis, look for the spark. Try things.

Creativity push-ups: take a classic story, change one element. Take a dialogue, and put a setting around it. Movie mash ups! Movie title mash ups, with genre switching. Build a story from random elements.
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[Brandon] Through this season, like we've done in previous seasons, we'll do that here on the podcast. We'll show you step-by-step professional writers approaching building a story out of disparate random elements. You know what? Those are plenty of writing prompts. I'm going to in this podcast by saying take one of these writing prompts. Whatever we've just given you. If you can figure out what Howard's was, use that one. Otherwise...
[Howard] I didn't give you a prompt, I gave you a puzzle.
[Dan] Whatever you write for your writing prompt, the title is going to be The Silence of the Mexican Herbie Part 2: The Two Towers.
[Brandon] Okay. I think that's enough. We've beaten this one to death. This is been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.