Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Creativity and the Writer - Part 1

People are creative. Kinda cliche, isn't it? If everyone is creative then it's not that unique, is it? If you put twenty people in a room and tell them to take a picture of an object, you will get twenty different pictures from different viewpoints.

How can we take our picture and make people stare at it? Make people prefer that picture to the others, find it more interesting than others? If you can do this, you can be a great writer.

What can help? Work with what we have at our disposal - words. Over the next three days, I will discuss how to use words to be more creative. The first two ways:

1) The shape of words - humans recognize words by their shape not their phonetic value. So, short simple sentences are often read by the shape of the sentence not the individual words. What can creative writers do? Challenge the reader, slow them down. Make them pay attention to the words you choose.

2) The sound of words - we may read by shape but we are aware of how words sound more than how they look. That's why when you read, we often 'hear' the words as we read them. We know 'cough' and 'plough' do not rhyme event though they have the same shape. Use sounds to write creatively.
For example, 
a) Onomatopoeia - words that sound like the noises they make.
b) Assonance - repetition of sounds within a piece of writing. "Do you like blue?"

What ways do you like to use words?


Southpaw said...

I like the points you made. I like words that have a certain feel to them. Just today, I was taking to a friend about words I prefer. I like the word spine but I don't care for vertebra.

Ann Elle Altman said...

That's funny. I don't like the word vertebra either. It's funny that humans can look at a word and though it's spelled correctly, we think it wrong or unusual.


TirzahLaughs said...

I don't like a lot of l words. LOL. Such as languid, limpid, luster.


I've quited like assonance because it a must have poetry tool.


Roz Morris aka @Roz_Morris . Blog: Nail Your Novel said...

I love using words for their shape - and whether they feel stuffy or exciting. For some reason, I cannot abide the word 'cherish' even though I approve of what it represents.

Carol Kilgore said...

I like your posts. They make me think. One of my favorite words is snickerdoodles.

Jemi Fraser said...

Words are fun. I've always been partial to discombobulate - it's just fun :)

Ann Elle Altman said...

Snickerdoodles, discombobulate, anguid, limpid, luster all very unusual English words.

My husband says I should make up words and put them in my books just to make people think.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love lots of favorite words and I have to be very careful not to overuse them when I write! :)


Mason Canyon said...

Enjoyed your post. Definitely makes you think. Words are fun.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I like to thumb through the thesaurus and/or dictionary to get reminded of different words. Sometimes I get in a rut and reuse the same words when there are so many amazing ones out there. It's an absolute thrill to find just the perfect word.

Jim Murdoch said...

The pun is mightier than the word.

I don't have any words that I'm especially fond of. I love language in general and it's not until you start mixing it up that get to see its potential.

I probably use the pun more than any other figure of speech though.

Tribute Books said...

also enjoyed your post,words are fun.

Talli Roland said...

I love looking at words. I have quite a few favourites, and a LOT of words I dislike (smear, for example. There's something just wrong about that word!). Looking forward to your upcoming posts!

Ann Elle Altman said...

Thanks, everyone and I agree the pun is mightier than the sword.


J.L. Campbell said...

I'm learning these days not to let my creativity confuse readers. Because of the legacy of the English in Jamaica, and the way we are taught in school, I tend to use words that have their roots in Latin. It's been a learning experience making choices.