Category Archives: Creative Imagination

Giulia Simolo Writers Multiple Lives post graphic

The Writer’s Multiple Lives

As authors, we often feel like we're multiple people living multiple lives. This week's guest poster, Giulia Simolo, explores this concept. How do you experience the Writer's multiple lives?
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The Writer’s Multiple Lives

By Giulia Simolo

Giulia Simolo Writers Multiple Lives post graphicIt was midnight. I could not sleep and my mind was wandering like a ship in the night, unsure of its destination but unwilling to throw its anchor overboard. That was when the voice came to me. It felt like that of an old friend, and yet it belonged to someone completely new and utterly fascinating.

Was I going crazy?

“how do you explain the connection you experience with these characters”

To the world, you might feel that this would be labelled insane. Hearing voices? Seeing images of someone in your mind? You, of course, know that this is a character for your new story that demands being written on the page immediately. But to the world, the idea that someone out there is speaking to you could make people question your stability! Added to this, how do you explain the connection you experience with these characters, and how you feel loss when the story ends and they stop pestering you at midnight? How would you explain to a non-writer that you feel that the characters choose you instead of you picking them from your imagination?

And yet, these are the kinds of things that happen to a writer. Once you meet your character and he or she settles in for tea, you start building on that initial impression to ensure they are not a whimsical creature made of slivers of lace but actual three-dimensional beings. When tackling characterization, there are often tips and various forms of advice handed out to writers, such as that it’s important to have a full sketch of who your character is (and this should be very detailed) before you embark on the writing journey. Tips such as the above are helpful, however there is one aspect that no one can control and which must not always be reined in during this process: the writer’s mind.

“The writer takes on a role similar to that of an actor”

Award winning Irish writer Emma Donoghue once said, ‘[Writing stories] lets me, at least for a while, live more than one life…’ Through our writing we can experience various things, many of which are in contrast to our daily lives. For instance, we might put ourselves in the shoes of a protagonist who travels the world or is obsessively dieting, or a drug addict… The writer takes on a role similar to that of an actor: he or she has to play the part, explore it, invest in their imagination, and try to make it as real as possible. This experience in the mind will be different for every writer. Although one’s characters are essentially made up, the writer is spending hours, days, weeks, months and sometimes even years with them, constantly perfecting them and their stories. Through these characters, the writer not only explores their lives but their own life if they were the character - all inside their own head. It is a vicarious way to live out a different reality, which can be exciting and liberating.

We have been told many times that keeping a diary or journal can help us process feelings or situations. Writers take this idea one step further by allowing their characters to do the elbow work for them. If you cannot understand or surrender to a situation you find yourself in in real life, such as illness or heartache, it can be vastly therapeutic to allow your character to find ways to deal with the problem on your behalf. Turn your character into a sci-fi knight to slay your disease! Allow your character to be a tough-talking, independent woman who rejects the man instead of getting her heart smashed into pieces! Perhaps, if you feel you cannot do or say something in your real life, you can take your frustrations or solutions out on the computer screen, changing reality somewhat. The power that comes with the imagination! Allowing ourselves to live different lives on the page can transform our reality, helping us come to terms with our dilemmas, and offer the world an incredible story that will hopefully inspire readers who can relate to it. As the brilliant writer Virginia Woolf expressed: ‘Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.’

The reason I say one cannot, and should not, control the writer’s mind is that, as brilliant writer Oscar Wilde once said, ‘Art is the most intense form of individualism that the world knows.’ Every writer starts with a perspective, thought or idea that no one else would fully perceive. This is what makes every writer so unique, like a snowflake or fingerprint. Maintaining this state of being instead of feeling afraid of it is crucial to the writer excelling in his or her craft. However, the writer’s mind is at work long before any contact with the pen and paper occurs. It is as though characters are marinating in our subconscious before we meet them. They appear to us as though they are answering our private call in the small hours of the morning, and maybe they have been waiting for the right time to enter our lives. The most amazing part about characters is that they are really just ourselves answering our own calls.

“Meeting your story’s character is like meeting a part of yourself”

Meeting your story’s character is like meeting a part of yourself. Even if your character is very different when compared to you, they are a part of you. You created them, even if you didn’t realize you were doing this until they stormed in unannounced. Before pushing them out so you can get back to bed, ask them why they are there and who knows? It might just be the start of a wonderful story.

Is the writer crazy? Absolutely not. On this earth, we are all walking stories, made up of different ideas, contradictions, and sometimes feeling like different people. We change, sometimes from one minute to the other. All we are doing as writers is allowing ourselves to live out all those fancies and ideas in another realm. The beauty is when this reaches full circle: when a reader grasps onto the character and feels that they are mirrored in them, that they can survive another day or the character’s words echo the machinations of their own soul. That is when the writer’s so-called folly becomes beautiful fiction, the caterpillar of self-doubt transformed into the hopeful butterfly with wings constructed out of the most powerful material that exists on earth: words.

Giulia Simolo's book, Eat Your Heart Out, can be found on Amazon.

Some of us have many narratives all going on at the same time. What's your experience of this? Please share your thoughts in the comments below - and this post with your friends!

Matthew Riffe creator within headshot

The Creator Within

Every child manifests the creator within - they play their imaginary games with their imaginary friends almost from the moment they are born - and yet, by the time we are adults we have lost that urge to create through criticism, trauma, practicality or some other form of socialisation.

Today's guest post author, Matthew Riffe, outlines his journey back to his creator within. Enjoy!
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Artist, Magician, Scientist - The Creator Within

by Matthew Riffe

Matthew Riffe creator within headshotEvery person is born with an artist, a magician and a scientist within, but as we grow older, we lose pieces of each because of fear and conformity. The ones who are able to overcome the fear and conformity often are the writers, painters, and scientist whom history has been written about or was written by.

“I did not choose to write, rather was found by writing”

I did not choose to write, rather was found by writing. My first experience being found by writing happened in the 2nd grade when I wrote a poem so skilled I was accused of plagiarism by my parents. I did not plagiarism, the idea of the poem started with the words, “Amid the sunlit grass clips, the katydid hid.” I don’t remember much more of the poem but do remember a feeling of accomplishment for the accusations and felt that I had a natural talent.

Maybe this is the reason I never really have considered myself a writer but a wordsmith. Most the piece I have composed start out as a few words which I find the combination awe-inspiring and joyful to say and here. I typically will spend the next few hours, days, or weeks, trying to find the right combination of words until my idea is realized. None of my pieces are ever finished works, instead works in progress put away so other ideas I may play with before they are lost.

I was somewhat lost as a child. I am my father’s only kid and mother’s third. Both my brother and sister were raised by their father because my mother had a few screws loose. My first and last memory of my mother was suicide, the first attempt happen when I was two maybe three, and the last being a successful attempt a day before my birthday. I think the circumstances in which I grew up in may have caused a desire for solitude and isolation.
In the seclusion, I was able to grab a control of my emotions and attach certain sentiments to the sensations. I had been made numb by parent’s alcoholism, drug addiction, and general chaos but through my writing I was able to convey the sadness and lack of affection. I imagine many writers tend to be individuals who enjoy solitude, escaping to their own thoughts and not being consumed by others' drama.

“the less I write, the more tragedy seems to come about in my life”

I have found that the less I write, the more tragedy seems to come about in my life and is more difficult to escape. Writing has always been my escape and way to getaway from life’s problems and be not concerned with finding a solution to the dilemmas. I have always written but took a short two year hiatus while I was I was in the Army. The conformity and inability to articulate and express myself had taken a toll. I was drinking a bunch until I enrolled in college to break up the monotony and repetition. In college I began to rediscover my love for words.

College also helped rediscover my love for poetry. I was in a research methods class and the rigors and exactness of scientific writing had taken my love of words away. I turn to poetry as an escape to the rigidity and inflexibility of American Psychology Association standard. If I had to write in a style that every aspect was dictated, then I would write in a style where the only thing that matter was the words, which help to create my degenerate form of poetry.

“I was found by writing to escape confusion, commotion, and conformity”

My background is important to understand my motives as a writer because it gives the reasoning in which I began to create. If I had not been down the road I have traveled, I do not know if I would have been found by writing. Something had to create the spark, and I believe I was found by writing to escape confusion, commotion, and conformity. The reason others have found my writing is I was able to abandon the fear of rejection. If I was more fearful maybe my words would never be seen or heard but I was able to overcome the biggest fear, which is fear itself. Once I was able to sweep away fear, I began to see more confidence in my writing and more willing to share my enter most thoughts and ideas.

How did you find your way back to the creator within? Share your thoughts in the comments below - and if you liked this post, please share with your friends, using the handy buttons!

Aron Joice Passion and Writing post graphic

Passion and Writing

Do you communicate your passion in your writing? Passion in writing is the hook that draws the reader into the web of story. Here, Aron Joice, outlines how she accesses her passion and articulates it as part of her story. Enjoy!
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Passion and Writing

by Aron Joice

Aron Joice Passion and Writing post graphicWhere does passion come from and how does it affect a writer? Passion is a gripping emotion that can allow us to discover secrets about others and ourselves. I am passionate about so many things, art, our environment, animals, children, and the elderly. Each category moves me differently, but the feelings are powerful nonetheless. Writers are solitary people facing a screen for hours on end requiring self-discipline. That discipline must come from the passion, and the necessity to write. So how do we use this as a tool to enhance our prose?

“Everyone is motivated by passion in some way”

I write fantasy. When I deal with my characters personalities and flaws I think about what motivates them. Why do they behave in a certain way? They can’t be linear, or unbelievable. Even the quietest of people have some deep-seated issues. The bottom line in my trilogy “The Lost Children of Managrail” is that love can heal, but it can also destroy. Think about the power of love. People have sacrificed their lives to save a loved one; others, in uncontrolled passion have taken the lives of those they profess to love. Everyone is motivated by passion in some way.

If I have a death scene, I’ll reach into my dark recesses recalling the death of a family member, or a friend. Perhaps even someone I loathed. I give myself over to that moment in time digesting what I had felt. Does anger come to the forefront evoking emotions that I can’t control? If so I am experiencing passion. Maybe I want my readers to hate a character. I can search my mental library recalling some hideous act that I read about in the media. The anger and disgust start to churn, I might think how I want that person to suffer, or die. These are passionate feelings not always controlled. Are they right? Can I justify them? Do I need to?

A writer must be passionate, or otherwise they will be incapable of moving the reader to simply immerse themselves in the authors’s work. When it is forceful, we turn a page and then another. The passion that motivated the writer has touched your heart and possibly your soul.
I think it is safe to say that most people relate passion to some art form whether it is writing, music, art, or dance. Let’s focus on art for the moment. Take a Monet and place it along side of a Picasso. Now stand back and tell me what you see. Do you think one artist is more passionate about his work than the other? Not at all, yet they are total 180’s. Monet evokes soft visuals that calm, while Picasso’s audacious strokes make one want to run with the bulls. Each brush stroke brought to canvas came from passion.

“Passion is personal, but can be shared with the world”

I was a trained dancer and spent many years performing. Speaking from a personal perspective the selected music was instrumental in how passionate I danced a particular number. If I didn’t feel the music to the depth of my soul, passion escaped me. I felt blah! The passion that the musician put into his work motivated me in mine. What about opera? Although this isn’t my cuppa, aficionados can’t get enough. Rappers, Metal heads, and Country fans will stand toe to toe with you regarding their passionate choice in music. Are there right or wrongs? Never. Passion is personal, but can be shared with the world, and that in turn brings about more passion.

Why is any of this important? Without the P word, life would be gray, and each day would be humdrum. The human race becomes less human walking around in a languid state. What a horrible and dull world it would be. Politics would fly out of the window (not such a bad idea), charitable actions, caring for our fellowman, starting the day with a powerful sunrise, loving our earth, feeding the hungry, educating the poor, honoring our fallen, standing for freedom, fighting for victims rights, all gone and forgotten without passion.

We are passion in its full form. It can’t be taken away from us; we can’t trade it in on something new and better. Passion is the best and the worst of us.

How do you convey passion through your writing? Share your thoughts below and this post through the handy buttons!