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Things to work on – creativity workshop.

Merrilee put up a post about the issues and interests she has and will possibly work through for the Creativity Workshop and prompted people to start thinking about their own. I’ve been mulling it over for more than a week now and different things keep coming to the surface. I think I’m narrowing the list down though.

From reading through other peoples posts, I can see some common threads forming – it’s really interesting seeing what other people want to work on and seeing how my own issues/interests lie along similar lines.

So, lets get down to it:

Diversity: I really want to work on this one. I write characters who are predominantly 20-35. They might be male, or female (I have a pretty even split), and are predominantly human. They all have their own personalities but there isn’t an awful lot of variety there. I need to push the boundaries, explore characters that are further away from where I am (socially, mentally, emotionally, physically), make the most of a variety of cultures and points of individuality.

Jumping into the deep end: I tend to dilly dally with the beginnings of my short stories. It’s a bad habit and often results in my deleting the first thousand or so words of a piece to get to where things should be starting from. I think I’m afraid that if I dive right in, I’ll miss something important. Quite often I’ll find myself tiptoeing around the real story to the point where I lose the drive to write it. I want to push past that and just leap into ideas where the story really gets going, unafraid. I can always go back and add things if it turns out they are necessary, but I am sick of spending hours and words on the unimportant stuff.

Writing about home: This has cropped up for a fair few people – it’s so easy to think that nothing interesting can happen in your own back yard. I know that’s entirely untrue. Not only can amazing things happen anywhere in the world but I live in NZ for goodness sakes! We have a rich history, an amazing country and lots of fodder for exploration. I’ve always shied away from it and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m part Maori, and I don’t tap into that at all in my writing. I want to break those barriers as well and allow myself to make use of the other parts of my heritage.

No babies: This is something I’m going to play with for the duration of the workshop. I write a lot of stories about pregnancy, mothers and motherhood. Hell it’s where I’m at and I find it so interesting – there are so many angles you can take and many myths to explore in new ways. I’m not going to write any stories about mothers, or babies, or pregnancy, or stillbirths, or anything centered around these things for now. Stories about other things that have people who happen to be mothers and children are okay – as long as the focus of the story isn’t on something parenting/motherhood/pregnancy related. I know, it’s a fine line, but it’s pretty clear in my mind. It will help make it easier to create more diverse characters for one thing!

I’m going to leave the list like that for now. There are no doubt others, but these are the ones that have been coming to the forefront lately. I think it will be both fun and challenging to push myself in some new directions over the next few months.

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15 thoughts on “Things to work on – creativity workshop.”

  1. Really cool post about thinking beyond your comfort zone. If I ever finish my decluttering project, I’ll bring some of that into my own writing. πŸ™‚

  2. They are intersting things to work on. I haven’t even started working this out for myself, but the start of a story, the ending of a story (espeically short stories) and how to use conflict within a story might be my main areas of concern.

  3. Seems like you’ve got this really well worked out – mine are still all over the place. It looks like a few of us will be working on the setting close to home (not one of my goals as such, but something I think it would be a good idea to make an effort on) and the diversity of characters.

    1. Yeah I am really looking forward to exploring a wider range of characters and pushing myself past my comfort zone – something that is easy to avoid unless you’re focusing on it I think.

      Will be awesome seeing how everyone does with their goals, and how they evolve over the course of the workshop.

  4. The bit about diversity is really interesting. Whereas a lot of people seem to be writing main characters who are younger than they are, nearly all (and quite possibly all) of my characters are older than I am. Bellamy’s in his sixties (possibly seventies), Calhoun is in his fifties, and the detective in my horror / SF fusion is in his fifties or sixties… I may be channeling something I didn’t realize until now.

    1. Channeling your old man self? lol that IS interesting though, very interesting.
      I tend to write around the same age as myself, so I’m looking forward to exploring other ages and stages – any tips for writing older characters?

      1. Most of my characters are mean as rattlesnakes, so I use a simple “what would Johnny Cash do?” prompt for their actions. Even in those last days, he still kicked ass. Listening to (or, better yet, watching) Hurt is a great way to bring out the desperate tone of people who would rather be doing absolutely anything else than saving the world one more time. πŸ™‚

  5. Good! But as well as issues, what about exploration? Is there anywhere you would like to go in your writing that you haven’t had the time or courage to explore? New characters, new genre, new styles?

    1. Delaney is a great example of someone I have been a bit afraid to explore – and I’m looking forward to doing something with her over the next few weeks as well as discovering some other new/intriguing/alien characters. No fear, no boundaries, no restraint – certainly no holding back. This is like my last big writing spree for awhile and I am going to make the most of it!

  6. I like the Diversity one. I would like to tackle some characters who have a very different world view than my own to force myself to consider my own views. There’s definitely a comfort zone we find ourselves in when we write.

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