Begin with Apples |
Go ahead, ask yourself: what color apples are?
Most would say — red. Maybe green.
But not fiction writers, or at least they shouldn’t.
The answer: Many colors on the outside, but inside all apples are white.
Going Inside |
This is a way to illustrate one of the main goals of creative writing, to move from the outside of things to the inside… with our imagination. It’s what’s inside that gives creative writing, over say journalism or nonfiction, its edge. We can go inside other people’s heads. We can go back into our past. We can go into middle Earth or go out into space. We can go back to ourselves. We go inside our thoughts and emotions. No other form of writing can do this. Fiction writers go to infinity and beyond. We’re going from out to in and back out, just like going from outside the apple, to inside, to outside.
Sure, fiction writing is about making thinks up. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. It’s about telling stories to make people think, to laugh, to cry, to have an adventure, to learn something. But the most integral part of creative writing, and fiction, is that is transformative, it talks about how a person, a thing, a situation, changes. Transformation is at the heart of writing fiction.
Try This |
Here’s a quick way to get your mind ready to write fiction. Sit down and with a blank screen or a piece of paper try the following. Try not to cheat!
- Write down your name
- Write down your Superhero name
What you will notice between Step 1 and Step 2 is that the latter, your real name, too less time, far less, than the former to write down. In other words, making something up takes more time than writing down a fact. Because?
The Impulse |
Here’s what it means. When we write something like our name the brain, the brain inside you, converges on the correct answer usually very quickly and efficiently since there is only one correct response. When we write something like our Superhero name, which is made up, the brain, the brain inside you, diverges from the one incorrect answer (your name) and goes through all the myriad available names — to infinity one could assume.
How about them apples?