Peggy Bechko: Six Tips to Creativity for Writers, Artists and Readers

xx Creativity Tips

by Peggy Bechko

A writer writes – right?

And what could be more important to writing than creativity.

So, here are just six tips to being more creative.

1. Keep a journal. Don’t think this is ‘written in stone’. Some people love them, some people hate them, even writers. If it’s something that works for you, jot things down. Doesn’t have to be all the time, every day, every hour. Any time is good. Not at all works as well if you’re the ‘hate it’ kind who’d rather simply be writing a story, an article, a screenplay and not bothering with a journal.

2.  Write everything down. Don’t trust your memory when you have a good idea, especially at night. I don’t care who you are, you’re gonna forget. Yes, you are. This kind of follows the journal keeping but it’s different. This is making note of your ideas. You don’t have to get all touchy-feely, just for God’s sakes write it down.

3. Go hang out in nature and allow it to wash simile ideas over you like a wave on a sun-kissed shore. Okay, okay, you get it. Nature is a great resource when you’re looking for ideas to get your idea across. Open your eyes and ears, smell the air and think about the feel of the breeze on your skin. We’ve all heard “slow as a snail”; stale, yes. However there are millions of possibilities out there. Come up with something new and fresh and you’ll suck those readers in. Yes, you need it for your scriptwriting as well. By virtue of it’s very tautness a script must be engaging in order to attract what’s needed to actually produce it.

4. Look, if you’re writing or creating anything, if you’re in the flow, if everything is clicking along for you, then keep at it. Keep writing. Keep painting. Keep clicking the camera. Keep creating. I will add one thing for writers. Many times it’s best to pause at a peak when break time comes along so you can dive right in when you begin again instead of finding yourself in a valley from which you must crawl upward.

5. Ever try to convey an emotion in a story or for that matter to paint it on a canvas or draw it and you just can’t seem to get a hold of what you need? Can’t quite make it happen. Try listening to music that stirs that emotion within you. Let it flow through you and absorb. If you actually feel the emotion you’re trying to put across odds are it will come through in your creative work. New words and idas will sprout. Trust me on this.

6. Doodle. Haven’t you heard this before? Amazing what doodling can do. The brain seems to take a little vacation, but not a non-productive one. Doodling can accomplish a lot. Don’t believe me? Check out doodling and learn how amazing it can really be.   Oh, and you can try writing with your non-dominant hand. The sheer awkwardness of trying this, the difficulty you’ll experience in writing words, then sentences with that hand give you more room to think and spurs those thoughts to flow. It slows you down too which can be a good thing!

That’s it. Six suggestions. Try them out and let me know how they work for you when skipping down the creative path.

WGAW’s Strongest Statement Yet Against the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

Found on the Interwebs

Found on the Interwebs

In a statement the other day, Writers Guild of America, West president Chris Keyser got on the FCC’s case in a demand to “put a stop to this spate of merger madness,” speaking for the WGAW as the Guild submitted its formal opposition to the Comcast-Time Warner Cable, um, “madness” indeed.

The whole document is 71 pages of legalese, a language totally alien to writers and other creatives. But here’s the official gist:

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Calling All Writers—Games Are the New Frontier

We keep tellin’ ya: TV writers don’t have to just write TV. Take this teeny little opportunity, for example:

ocarina-of-time-640x360by Mary Lee Sauder

I live a strange double life, stuck between the diametrically opposed worlds of writing and gaming. When I go to an English class and mention that I’m a gamer, people treat it as a non-sequitur and the chatter moves on to the latest in an ever-growing list of efforts to get John Green to come to campus. But when I go to a game studies class, the conversation (not to mention the gender distribution) completely flips, and I get blank stares or condescending remarks if I try to defend story as an important part of games.

For all the talk of games being a burgeoning art form, these two camps just don’t seem to understand or appreciate one another. And who can blame them? Right now, there is simply no good outreach to writers from games like there is for film or television. A creative writing major graduating this year would have to work very hard and have a lot of other supplemental skills to get hired in the gaming industry, so why would it even be on the average student’s radar?

See, games and stories don’t work well together when they stick only to what they know. Pretty much any writer will tell you that a story has words and is meant to be experienced from beginning to end. But that’s not the strength of video games, so a writer needs to approach developing a game in a much different way. Today I Die has been called an “interactive poem” because it uses the player’s natural curious exploration to evolve the words onscreen in different ways, and the player’s actions reflect the subject of the story—that is, the struggle to tear oneself out of the pit of depression.

When a writer approaches a game as if it’s a film or a book—that is, a more or less linear narrative with established characters and motivations—the game won’t be stronger for it. The gameplay will probably have very little to do with the story, and the whole thing will come across as a lame knockoff of some imaginary movie or book that could’ve handled the material much better.

This isn’t to say that linear narratives and characters with actual identities have to go out the window. But the story and the gameplay should be developed together so that they complement each other, not separately so that one of the elements feels stapled onto the part that the developers actually cared about. I shouldn’t want to skip through endless cutscenes just to get to the exciting gameplay, or watch all the cinematics on YouTube because the actual game is irrelevant.

Read it all

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 9/1/14

Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Jordan Belfort (the “inspiration” for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET) is developing a series described as “a MAN MEN-style TV show about the excess of WALL STREET in the 1980s for Brett Ratner’s company. (Cuz if there’s one thing TV needs in the 21st Century teens it’s a show projecting the values of an infamous drug consumer and convicted con artist. Nice to have such a bright light to help us get through these difficult times, eh?)
  • Justin Halpern & Patrick Schumacker (SURVIVING JACK) have sold a comedy based on a memoir by Col. Chris Hadfield, the well-known astronaut/internet video sensation. (Yeppers, it’s all about how much harder normal life on the ground is than being an outer space celeb. My enthusiasm is, um, well, how’s “nil” sound?)
  • Amy Holden Jones (BLACK BOX) is writing the drama pilot 10 BEACON HILL for ABC, described as “a medical procedural…about a brilliant team of doctors who take on the most difficult cases. (How does this differ from HOUSE? Dig it – the head of the team is an ultra-caring medical genius instead of a dick. Hmm, munchikins thinks that could be a welcome change.)
  • Andy Stern (newbie?) is writing a pilot for ABC about a female police psychologist who used to be a “real” cop herself. (And if that makes you wonder why your slightly more original ideas – whatever they are – keep getting turned down to the networks, keep this in mind: The producer of this series, and, I’m thinking, it’s intended star, is Ellen Pompeo, the star of GREY’S ANATOMY. Why aren’t I best buds with somebody who can get such a great vanity deal?)

Write in and tell me what you’ve sold today. TVWriter™ can’t wait to brag to all your friends. (And, more importantly, enemies. Hehehe….)

Peer Production: ROOMIESS

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What can we say? This new web series is just so darn cute that we can’t help but wish it the best.

And the theme song – whoa, it’s perfect ’60s TV. Or contemporary Disney Channel. They’re the same thing after all.

TVWriter™ minion prediction: This show and its creators, Edward Kiniry-Ostro and Sal Neslusan, are gonna end up in the Big Time. Soon.

Get in on the ground floor HERE.