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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Creative Limitations

Before I dropped off to sleep last night, I was reading Robert McKee's Story. And yes, before anyone says a word, I know it is sad, but I do keep finding things to come back to, to dip in and out of. And I had left the book I was reading downstairs, and my dh kept deciding to read bits of the book he is reading out loud. The book he is reading is about an ultra marathoner whom we both agreed must be seriously unbalanced. Run voluntarily 199 miles? Certifiable in my humble opinion. It makes me tired just thinking about it. My dh is ereading the book for inspiration in his running.

Anyway, I digress -- the bit I read was about creative limitations and the need for form. Creativity works best when it comes up against obstacles. the need to search for another way results in greater insight and not less. The example McKee gives is writing a poem with rhyming couplets. The first two are easy but the third one makes you struggle, you choose a word and then have to think how to fit it in. Another form of poetry would be a sonnet. The best sonnet writers offer deep insight, and are a pleasure to read. McKee points out that every genre has its own form. You must learn that form and rather than seeing the form as an obstacle, see it as a way to release creativity.

Why am I thinking about all this? My editor arrives back in her office tomorrow and NCC is quite high on her to do list. No doubt, her thoughts will provide insight in how to make NCC better. I have discovered the crows of doubt flock whether or not my editor is even in the office. I simply have to trust I can execute her thoughts and make NCC the truly fantastic, emotionally fulfilling story that I know it can be...

I do hate it when people talk about though. It is not rules but form, and form frees your creativity, prevents you from accepting the first image or whatever, forces you to find another way.

This week I have done more on PR than on my next ms --TVB. I think the PR push is coming to an end and I will have very little option but to work, work, work.

Aga update -- we have given up on the Aga man who came out before Christmas as his back is still bad, and have gone for the largest Aga supplier in the area. They are a bit more expensive, but have seven engineers working for them. The preliminary inspection takes place on Thursday. Hopefully, I will get my aga back in time for my birthday...

1 comment:

Eva Gale said...

I'm playing catch up with your bog. *g*

"Anyway, I digress -- the bit I read was about creative limitations and the need for form. Creativity works best when it comes up against obstacles. the need to search for another way results in greater insight and not less. The example McKee gives is writing a poem with rhyming couplets. The first two are easy but the third one makes you struggle, you choose a word and then have to think how to fit it in. Another form of poetry would be a sonnet. The best sonnet writers offer deep insight, and are a pleasure to read. McKee points out that every genre has its own form. You must learn that form and rather than seeing the form as an obstacle, see it as a way to release creativity."

Here I've thought myself weird for thinking this also. I find my greatest creativity within strictest limitations. Having to come up with something 'different' and still meet criteria is so difficult, but when you do, it's wonderful. I always say I'm happy in my self imposed box (romance genre) because the challenge to stay unique is creatively demanding.