Friday, January 24, 2014

Lateral Thinking

"Use Grammarly's plagiarism detection feature because [insert clever/funny reason here]." (e.g. "copy-cats are not nearly as cute as the original!")






Often times when I'm introduced to some people as a creative writer, the next thing they ask me after sharing pleasantries with them, is how do you do it? How do you know you can write? Can you teach me how to write? And so on and so forth. Well, before you can be taught how to write professionally, if you are not so talented, you must know how to generate ideas. What makes a difference between writers and the other people is that we know when we are getting ideas and how to generate one. Now, the topic I'm going to talk about do not only work for people who have problems stimulating ideas, but also works fine for writers suffering from writers' block.

Besides brainstorming, lateral thinking is another powerful way to stimulate creativity. This approach involves taking an unorthodox or seemingly illogical approach to generating ideas and solving problems. There are lots of ways to go about this, with the more common approaches I'll touch in this article.

Lateral thinking is taking an unorthodox approach to generating ideas and solving problems.

1. "Is Not"

Talented or not, once you have it in mind that you want to write a story, there is an idea on your mind. The problem here is that you feel your idea isn't good enough. So an interesting way to stimulate better and new ideas is to determine what your idea "is not" about. For example, when trying to decide the objectives of a story, an idea or a scene you are about to churn out, it will be helpful to list what the story, concept, or scene is not about. This for sure will get your creative juices flowing and help you crystallize the true objective of your concept.

2. Change Perspective

Changing perspective of an idea or problem is another way to stimulate the flow of ideas. There are lots of ways to do this. Let's say you already scrawled out your story idea: change the location of the story, change the time frame, change the outcome, and change the meaning of the outcome (i.e., turn a victory into defeat or verse verse). You may require a separate brainstorming session simply to determine how you can change the perspective of your idea.

3. "What If"

This is a technique used by actors to determine different ways to play a scene. It is a fun approach that can be used for stimulating creative though. First, state the problem that you are trying to solve, a desired story you wish to achieve. Next, determine what will happen if you change certain variables with your concept. Let's check out these few examples:

1. A cinematographer might ask "what if" the lighting source for the romance scene in the bedroom is theoretical light coming from outside rather than lighting the room within.

2. A screenwriter or novelist might ask "what if" the murderer turned out to be the protagonist's father or brother.

3. A Director might ask "what if" the audience is given information that the protagonist is unaware of.

These are just a few simple examples, but you can see how they can radically change the outcome of a material. There is more to optimizing the power of your mind to become a creative writer and, catching ideas when they pop. If you wish to try your hands on writing or wants to brush up the knowledge you already obtain on the field, consider taking a private mentoring with me, or purchase a creative course online.

I urge you to like this post or tell a friend about it.





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