August 3, 2010

Creativity Workshop: Have your cake and eat it too!

After the workshop
The Creativity Workshop was a big success. I didn't hit my stride until the last section, but I caught it just in time of Web Serial Writing Month. What I truly learned from this workshop is to actively think a bit ahead of the plot and only edit when I see myself writing into a corner. I keep thinking about the different ways I can bring my story to the point I want to be at. In the past, I used to just think about where I wanted the story to go, but not necessarily how to get there. Now I get to a certain point and reevaluate the story to see if it's accomplishing what I wanted it to accomplish. If not, I add some things, take somethings out. These small little edits are helping to shape the story.

It's kind of like Ace of Cakes, where they get just an ordinary cake. The regular sheet cake is the idea, and now to get a beautiful cake, I have to shape that sheet cake into something awesome. These small edits are like carving the cake. You have to keep carving and carving until you get it right. Before, I would just hack away at it. Like using a chainsaw to carve instead of a knife. And instead of having a beautiful cake like the one at the top, I had a hot mess like the cupcakes to your right. (yes, that's me like 2 years ago). I wrote like that, then I had to do a major overhaul because I kept writing myself into a corner and couldn't find a way out. The story never seemed to accomplish what I set out to accomplish. 

What I learned about the workshop was patience. You have to actively seek out inspiration, instead of waiting for it come to you. Then when you get that inspiration, you have to determine whether it's just an idea or something that can be formed into a story. Case in point, with my current story, Sex, Drugs, and Steampunk. That story came about from thinking about many different things, getting disappointed with current stories that I've read, and enjoying stories and movies from the past. It was about taking those elements and combining them and having no expectations as to the quality that came out. Then I got it. I got that spark that made the story deeper and gave it layers. The creativity workshop helped me think of "What if..." instead of "How do I fix this mess?" Now instead of throwing everything together and getting a beautiful mess of plots, I have something that started off original, even if it was a combination of different things that I liked, reworking things I didn't like from other stories, and actively thinking ahead and wondering how to best accomplish what I want my story to do.

Thank you, Merrilee for this wonderful workshop. I hope you have another one and for those reading this, if she does have another workshop, you better join!(it's free!)


Edi said...

I'm so glad Ari featured you on her blog! Your energy is quite inspiring!

Najela said...

Hi Edi,
Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying it. =)

Merrilee said...

You're welcome, Najela, glad to have you along!

beth said...

Thank you for checking out my blog.


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