Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guest Post - The Creative Landscape by Rejean Giguere

Over the years I had been told frequently that I described things better than a lot of people did. I never understood the significance of that statement. I assumed it was just me taking the time to be thorough in my explanations.

Then I had discussions with my brother on the subject of writing. He was an intellectual, a teacher, the kind of guy who read statistics books, medical and political journals for fun, and had his own ideas about writing. I think he was too rooted in fact to allow his creativity to stretch those truths, facts, and knowledge into fiction. He most assuredly could have written a non-fiction book about any number of subjects.

Finally I come to my editor. We haggle and work back and forth on issues as you would expect. When she says that I can’t have some lawyers sit in on a meeting of government officials who are deciding to award a contract, I ask why. She'll tell me it’s because lawyers don’t do that and aren’t allowed to sit in on those type of meetings in the real world, I say they do in my book.

Rules, regulations and the proper ways of doing things can hamper, restrict and hold back someone who doesn’t have those cares but has the ability to tell stories, or better yet allows themselves the freedom to create ideas and stories.
The other day I asked someone to tell me a story about a bouncing ball and they sort of stared back, saying, “I don’t know, ah…”
I responded, “The old man stood wavering on the side of the road, teetering off the edge of the side walk. He heard a sound and turned to see a bouncing ball coming his way. It was reaching ten or twelve feet in the air on each bounce and a number of kids were chasing it. Then the old man noticed the bounces were getting smaller as it approached. Finally the ball was hardly bouncing at all and stopped in front of the old man.”

I did another one, “A small boy started climbing the long flight of stairs that burdened him every day. Today he noticed a ball bouncing down the steps towards him. Great, he thought, a ball to play with. Then as the boy got a little farther up he realized the ball was bigger than he thought and he wondered how big it was. Then he realised he was too far up to go back down and that the bouncing ball was bigger than he was.”

Once I have an idea, like the Merlin engine in Merlin 444 or the Asylum for my latest book, I let my creative imagination go to work on building a story, playing with different hooks and angles. Eventually I have a rough outline of a story and can see the beginning, middle and end.

I do worry about the story making sense, and keeping the reader intrigued, involved, guessing or confused, depending on what the story calls for, but I don’t worry about rules whether or not this or that is really possible, because it doesn’t have to be.
Someone said, “But you’ve never been in an asylum. How do you know what goes on in there?”
I asked, “Don’t you have ideas and visions of what goes on somewhere in your head? I sure do.”
My creativity is always turned on. It is part of the creation of the initial story vision, and it is ever-active as I write, providing me with new twists and ideas as I go.

Don’t hold it back, let it run free.

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