• Dana Ellington

Let's Get Creative

Updated: Jun 13

I'm not a world renown author just yet but I am a story-writing creative and feel confident in sharing what has worked for me in the realm of creativity and writing, in hopes that my experiences can help others in their creative pursuits.


With that being written, here are a few of the ways I foster my noveling creativity. After reading the list, please share your variations as I want to learn how other folks invoke the muse, so to speak, or rather, 'so to write'(?)... Yeah, let's not try to get clever with the word play, eh? On to the list.


In no particular order:

  • go outside - weather permitting, when I want to get in touch with my creative side, I find getting outdoors to be very helpful. If I'm lucky, this outdoor time includes a beach next to a large body of water but if not, a quick meander around the neighborhood works as well. It never fails, at some point, I'm either going to suss out a plot point I was stuck on, have a character drop some knowledge about themselves that helps me thinking up a few new words, or I get a whole new project idea that lights me up.



  • listen to music - there are some fantastic stories and characters buried in most music. I have eclectic tastes in most things, music is no exception. I get down with just about any beat from classical, to country, to death metal. Providing the lyrics, if there are any, or the story behind the music's creation aren't: racially, culturally, or religiously discriminatory; don't promote violence; and don't induce nightmares.

For example, listening to the song No Ordinary Love, sung by Sade, inspired me to developed an entire one-woman play that I later turned into a short story. And every time I hear the song Hotel California sung by the Eagles, I get variations of a plot for a horror movie that I may develop into a script later this year.





  • Do some word-based puzzles - this is a great way to refresh and upgrade my vocabulary in a fun, easy on the brain, way. Playing Scrabble with other humans is a form of this as well. Either way, I enjoy being introduced to different words as I do a word search or anagram or crossword. Doing this helps me with dialog so my characters don't all "sound" the same. Different people have different educational levels, use different phrases or expressions; they'll use colloquialisms based on where they grew up - all that requires being able to effectively (correctly) use words so the more words, phrases, expressions, etc. I am exposed to the better.


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  • Stream of consciousness style writing - I'll interview my characters by asking general questions of them then sit and write whatever comes to mind in response to the question. I'll envision a scene or setting in my story, then sit and write whatever comes to mind around that scene or setting. The words that hit the page may or may not be used in the story I'm writing but they always help put more ideas in my head that I most definitely can use to add to my word count or help me tell the story better.



This is by no means an exhaustive list. It's trite but needs to be said, everybody is different and so of course it's going to take different things to bring their creativity to life. Share in the comments below what things bring ideas to mind for you. Uh, side note, this is a public forum so, um, let's keep things PG-13 please ;-).


For a visual edition of this post, be sure to visit my YouTube channel.


Bonus: Click to download this month's writing prompts - a list of songs you can listen to each day to get those creative juices flowing.

May Writing Prompts
.pdf
Download PDF • 318KB

In the meantime, sending love & inspiration,

Dana

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