4 Unexpected Ways to Get a Creativity Boost

Aug 29, 2013 by

If you’re a writer then creativity is something you can’t get enough of (along with music and caffeine.) So here’s four…ah you read the title.

Research

Now you’re probably thinking “but nobody likes research” but I’m talking about only looking up fun facts for a subject you like whether it seems to fit your story or not.

For example I like to learn about anything medieval, while looking at a book, Swords by Ben Boos, I found out that some villagers in Europe wielded swords called war knifes; so now one of my characters fights with one and that fact helped me build his back story.

I also love pirates and according to The Book of Pirates by Jamaica Rose and Captain Michael Macleod (those can’t be their real names can it?) the black jolly roger actually means “don’t hurt us and we won’t hurt you” while a similar red flag meant no mercy; which made a discussion and a joke in my pirate story. In fact I wouldn’t even have that story if I hadn’t been looking at pirate books at the bookstore.

So if it has to do with something you love and the fact is cool enough you’ll find a way to fit it in a story.

Let your Mind Wander

My mind seems to wander and come up with it’s best ideas when I’m supposed to be listening to something else, I always try to snap back to attention though. But then I wondered if I could do it on purpose, play an audio book or podcast and when my mind starts to wander to just let it.

I haven’t actually tried this one yet so I don’t have much to say here, it’s just an idea. Although I do know it happens accidentally and that daydreaming is a good way to get ideas.

This whole thing is probably part of why music is so helpful.

Scribblenauts

Yes, a video game. Nintendo’s Scribblenauts is a good way to take a break from your writing without killing your creativity and it might even help it; because this game challenges your imagination with puzzles.

There’s three, the third Scribblenauts Unlimited, let’s you create more but the puzzles in the second, Super Scribblenauts, challenges your imagination more.

It’s also cool to try to make your story in the free play mode, it probably will become a messed up version but that’s part of the fun.

Playing with a Kid

This might have you feeling ridiculous at first but there is no better way to spark your creativity. Because to kids the story is only limited by their imagination ’cause in their world anything can happen. Make sure you play by their rules, don’t tell them something can’t happen.

After a while they may start to wonder why you’re not doing much and you’ll have to come up with as silly ideas as theirs to keep up; it might turn out that those silly ideas are just what you needed.

It also helps to analyze their story later, sometimes it goes a lot deeper than either of you realized at the time.

For example back when I babysat my cousin (who was 5 at the time) he had us play a story where no one liked my character because she was friends with a robot. Most of the story was our characters trying to get the other on their side; eventually his destroyed the robot, mine was so mad she hit him (no, I didn’t actually hit him) everyone in the town was mad at her for hitting someone but didn’t even care that he’d killed the robot. In the end everything turned out OK though. There was a lot of silliness and things that just didn’t make sense but later I realized that he’d basically written a commentary on the unfairness of racism.

Of course my cousins are brilliant but I’m sure one of yours is almost as cool. (What? I got to brag a little. 😉 )

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