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Article - 'Learning to Write Creatively' by KaosTenshi

An item about Miscellanious posted on Aug 8, 2003

Blurb

The resources are all around you, but are you using them?

Body

How does a person learn to write creatively? To some people, it just comes natural. But if you're not 'born with the gift', that's no reason to give up on writing. There are ways to learn to write creatively, or to improve on whatever skills you may already have. Your three greatest assets are...

The Creativity of Others

Making It Up As You Go

Writing With Others

The first two go hand in hand. By 'the creativity of others', I mean books, movies, TV, anime, and music written by other people. If you're an anime fan, I suggest watching something -really- unique... like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Utena: The Movie, and the like. Why these? Aren't they usually considered 'brain-pain' anime? Well yes, but it's for those very reasons. Each episode is an onslaught of metaphors, enigmatic imagery, and general uniqueness... If that doesn't get the hamster turning the wheel in your head, then little else will.

What do you do next? The best possible thing you can do... Sit down in front of your word processor, or with a pencil and paper, whatever you can write faster with... And just start typing ideas. DON'T ERASE ANYTHING! Even if it doesn't seem too good at the moment, this isn't the final copy, and you might think of better uses from original ideas after you've had time to think for a while. Okay, so the flow of writing is a little weird... But you got your ideas on paper. Save it, stick the paper in an idea folder... You may not use it right now but you have ideas that you can always review later when you hit a tough spot. Most of the time, you'll probably look at it and think, "Wow, this was lame........... but this part here could be reworked".

The third is my absolute favorite method... 'Writing with others' might sound strange, but it really works if you do it the right way. What do I mean by this? I mean roleplay! I know a lot of you might play D&D, but I mean more story-based roleplay than that. Find MUDs (Multi User Dungeons) that encourage or enforce roleplay, or look for freeform text-based RPGs on servers like DALnet and EsperNet on IRC. This can in some ways be considered leeching off the creativity of others, but as you learn to take part in storylines, you can also learn to create your own. Just don't try to jump in with your own massive plot twists from the very start... it gets really lame. Spend a few weeks getting accustomed to the style of roleplay and the people you roleplay with.

Never underestimate your ideas. You may not be able to make much of them at the moment, but if you give yourself time to think them over for a while, you'd be amazed with what you can come up with.