Creativity in Story and Roleplay
How to Help Your Creativity
“If you do not use your creativity, you will not improve your creativity.” ~Edgar Allen Poe
Creativity is the bread-and-butter of roleplay. When you are not creative, things can get dull, boring and hum drum, for both you, and the poor person you are writing with. Here’s some ways to bring up your creativity…
1. Find your muse – What inspires you and gets you thinkin’? Is it music, food, dancing, talking with certain people? Reading certain posts or books? If you are not sure what inspires you, then spend time being mindful about it – think about when you are thinking of things, and where you are doing it, then…keep doing it! For example, I run because that is when I am most creative. As soon as I finish a run, I spend time either dictating my ideas on a recorder or typing things down. I also get creative vibes when I bounce ideas off of people, and get their input and advice. The shower is also another place where I get ideas, and I use bath crayons to write it all down!
2. Silence your negative voices – Writers block happens when you silence that inner voice that tells you your idea is “too stupid,” “too boring,” “not good enough,” or (and the biggest and worst one of all) “people will judge me for it and hate it.” There is no room for negative voices in creative space. These will always work against you. So…create! Write! Be! Tell those negative voices to GFO, and believe me, the ideas will strt to come. Ignore the people that push you down, and be among other creative people to whom you aspire to become.
3. Persevere – You make a story and no one pays attention? So what? Writing is for you. Creative thoughts are for YOU. When writers begin to understand that writing is a personal exercise FOR the writer, and (screw the rest of the world and their readers), your creativity will begin to flow. Don’t let other people pull you down. We get better, and become better writers by writing, not by sitting and expecting a miracle to happen. Ask any seasoned RPer that you think is a talented writer, and you will find that they spend hours and hours and hours writing. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen. You just gotta continue to do! Write like no one’s reading!
4. Push yourself – Brainstorm, and go outside your comfort zone. Test out different writing styles. Read, watch, pay attention to different genres, ways of writing and modes of expression. When I have writer’s block, one thing I do is play with clay. I start to sculpt it in my hands while I think. Sometimes I diagram, draw, etc. If you look at some of the things I’ve written, you’ll find that I’m experimenting with style all the time! It keeps the ideas flowing. HOWEVER, don’t use stories/movies/games to replace your own imagination. Use it to inspire something new. Recognize the “typical story” in what you read/watch/see, and then….figure out ways to break out of the norm.
5. Put in the effort and set aside the time – Writers write. A lot. They write ALL THE TIME. I have napkins with crayon to prove it. Not everything you write will be used… yet. But keep writing. Writing is like exercising – if you don’t keep doing it, you get out of shape, and pretty soon, your work takes on the same tone as a couch potato – flabby, jelly-like and uninteresting. Writing, and writing about anything, keeps those brain waves sharp, and pretty soon, you’ll start to think by writing, instead of just writing what you are thinking! It takes a lot of work, believe me. But it is worth it!
6. Surround yourself with excellent examples and talented people – Read posts and stories from people you admire. Do it from different points of views and perspectives. HOWEVER, don’t expect others to inspire you. I get a lot of, “Blue, can you help me think of a story?” Translation: Blue, I’m a lazy bum and my chunky monkey brain is too lazy to think of something on my own, so can you do it for me?
Hint: Start with your OWN idea, then build on it. When you are always asking other people for THEIR ideas, you become a soul-sucking dependent whose writing becomes mediocre and uninteresting because you never owned the idea to begin with. Creativity is a process, not a talent, and sometimes it takes a lot of work, blood, sweat and tears to make it happen. It happens when you’ve got your mind trained and open for new possibilities, and it takes practice. LOTS of practice. Have you put aside the time for this? Are you paying attention? You have to put in the time to allow your brain to think. Sometimes, it takes me days to weeks before I come up with a good idea, then I build on it, revise it, and build on it some more. It takes time. Be patient with yourself and give yourself the time you need.
7. Set reasonable goals and stick to them – I write using deadlines. For each deadline, there’s a goal that I have in mind that I want to accomplish, and then…. I make the deadline. When you don’t aspire to be better, you won’t be. If you want to be creative, then you must set a goal to do so, then work towards it. Use little steps to get you there, and count your progress. Don’t delete any of your work, because then you can use it to look back on and reflect! ie. I still suck, but if I look at my stuff I wrote a year ago? I suck a lot less now. 😛