Monday’s Musing on Creativity

This past month I’ve been teaching research to fourth and fifth graders. I have each of them choosing a topic they have a passion for (sports, social issue, art, etc.), and then they learn more about their topic using the internet, databases, and books. Their final project must be a creative representation and two minute talk about what they learned.

I have a passion for writing and creativity which has led to me delving deeper into the creativity process. Can creativity be taught? Are all people creative? How do you tap into creativity? These are all burning questions I’ll explore further with a weekly creativity tip or activity I’ll share on Monday’s Muse on Creativity.

This week’s creativity exercise: Imagine your character is deathly afraid of heights. They agree to go on a hot air balloon ride with friends. They shut their eyes tight during the flight. What takes place in the minutes after they board the hot air balloon? – adapted from Regina Pacelli’s Whole Lotta Creativity Going On. *

Empty basket hot air balloon beautiful background

*I highly recommend this book if you are looking for quick activities to spark your creativity. Available at public libraries and all major bookstores.

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Friday’s Writing Tip

I’m happy to announce the words “the end” were typed on the first book in a new mystery series based in the 1920s entertainment industry. Switching from my comfort zone of the Phee Jefferson series to a historical mystery stretched my librarian research skills and my writing.

Today’s tip involves editing. Once you finish your first draft, walk away and DO NOT look back… at least for a week or two. Here’s why. You have marinated in your characters’ lives and your plot for months, possibly years, and they have become your children. You need some distance to recognize their flaws. Ask my grown sons. Now that they are out of the house, I can recognize them as separate entities with lives and personalities of their own. Your novel characters are the same. They need some distance. Some breathing room. Once you’ve had the break, go back and look at your manuscript with fresh eyes. Remember, you want your children (and your novel) to have a personality and life story separate from your own.

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