Monday, November 27, 2017

A Writer's Secrets to Catching Creative Ideas

Brad Herzog did a TED Talk (TEDx Monterey - running time 15:36) about A Writer's Secrets to Catching Creative Ideas. Every time I watch this talk (so far three times, but there will be more), I feel so inspired to write and to work harder on finding awesome ideas. I find him to be a very personable speaker, sprinkling in the perfect amount of humour and making me feel, almost instantly, a strong connection with him.

"Good writing begins with a great idea; an idea so compelling that an editor or publisher can't pass it up; an idea so compelling that a reader can't pass it by."

This doesn't just factor in when talking about writing. In fact, "we are often tasked with coming up with a unique way of looking at things." A way of looking at things differently that allows the everyday to become something more.

"Everything in my mundane daily existence can be fodder for a clever and creative idea. It's just a matter of sort of tilting my head at the world a little bit; questioning everything; and, what I like to call, wondering out loud."

- what if?
- who discovered/created that?

- veer away from what's trendy right now
- choose a different style or genre or audience

- surprise people
- what if the opposite were true?

One of the suggestions that Herzog makes that resonates with me is "don't jump the gun on your idea. Let it percolate a bit, think about it for awhile, and essentially find the real story."

This is an important and often neglected tip. Our fast-paced world is often rushing us to find ideas and get things written. This can result in less than stellar ideas. "Often it takes a little bit of patience; that's part of the creative process. Sometimes that means not only finding the idea but waiting and figuring out how to convey the idea."

I once read a writing instructor who shared that when brainstorming a fiction novel idea, she would write out an entire workbook of what-if scenarios and see what the best ideas were. She never rushed this stage and reported that she often came up with 20 or 30 mediocre ideas before landing one that she believed to be spectacular. This is something that I have not done well in the past, but you can bet that it's on my radar now.

Herzog summarizes the idea process as follows:

conceiving the idea
developing the idea
conveying the idea

"If you can put that all together, sometimes you can catch something really special."

Listen to the TED talk that Herzog has put together. In it, he gives fantastic examples of his personal idea process and he illustrates his tips with his firsthand experience. 

1 comment:

Magic Love Crow said...

I hope you're doing well with your writing Terry! Big Hugs!