The writer's creative imagination and process can be a wild ride, as Jeremy Shory indicates in his How to be an Author guest post. The smallest thing can set off the imagination into a roller coaster of creativity, adrenalin and furious writing. Which is why you see so many of us scribbling in notebooks or muttering into our phones, recording the ideas before they're chased away by the next butterfly thought.
As always, your reactions are very welcome in the comments below.
Creative Imagination: It Truly is a Beautiful Mind…Sorta
by Jeremy Shory
Oh, this may be a good time to tell you what I’m so vehemently stating is completely out of the realm of possibility. Otherwise this whole thing may get a little awkward…for the both of us.
I’m Jeremy Shory, author of The Orion Chronicles: The Journal of Forgotten Secrets and soon to be released The Orion Chronicles: Curse of the Phantom Brotherhood. (Shameless book plugs – Jam! "Shameless" is absolutely right, Jeremy dear!) These are fantasy-based works of fiction with countless contraptions, spells, and potions that I’ve crafted in my own little mind.
(Speaking of little mind, did you know even though the Brontosaurus was a whopping 75 feet tall, 22.86 meters for you using the metric system out there, it had a brain smaller than a human’s? That’s just plain ca-razy! Sorry for the pointless tangents. I tend to do that with my blogs.)
Anyways, back to the point I was trying to make about the works of fiction. As I write, and even during the planning stages where I jot down notes for my books (which interestingly enough takes place either on my way to work, or when I’m in the restroom—I like to call this my Tinker-Stinker time. TMI?) I find that my mind is always working, always creating new ideas or concepts for items I want to work into the story. And I’m not just talking plot points here. I mean like actually creating tangible things that I want to use. And that’s why I believe the fantasy-based genre pairs so well with my writing abilities.
Scratch 'n' Sniff Candy
An example would be the Seamus’ Scratch-N-Sniff Candy I thought of one night and worked into Curse of the Phantom Brotherhood. I mean who’s ever heard of such a thing? It’s just plain poppycock! But in all actuality, it turned out to be a pretty neat little additive to my story.
Oh, you want to know what Seamus’ Scratch-N-Sniff Candy is? Alright, I’ll tell ya…but it’s gonna cost ya $2.99 US…in the form of buying my book on Amazon is kinda what I’m getting at here. (Insert winky face here…not really because that’s just plain silly.)
Scratch-N-Sniff Candy is basically a sack of colorless, odorless candy that comes with a card containing several different “flavor” dots. You can scratch the dot to smell the flavor and if that’s what you’d like your candy to taste like, you simply press it until it turns white. All the candy in the sack will magically change to reflect the selected flavor. Pretty neat right? Yep! All thought up in mine own noggin. It’d be pretty cool if that ever really existed, but now you’re starting to see why I write in the genre I do. By the way, now may the time to tell ya…that’s copyrighted. Just sayin’.
Unbelievable Creative Imagination
Now where was I? Ah yes…my brain working and all that jumbly-bumbly. One of the things a lot of writers struggle with is the fabrication of things from their own mind. I mean they can certainly come up with a story and characters and get the ball rolling, but I’m constantly told that I have an “unbelievable imagination.” (I quoted that from one of my reviews on Amazon.) And don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way discrediting what any author does for their writing. I know how hard it is. Believe me on that. The point I’m simply trying to make is that there are a lot of stories out there that are all based on actual events, or real people, or places, etc. And they’re all great. But my mind goes in a different direction…one where I can just make crap up on a whim to throw in my stories. I mean I created my own magical world for Pete’s Sake…full of contraptions and spells that are so enchanting that they can only exist in one’s own imagination. I think you get my gist here.
I usually get the follow-up question on whether or not it’s easy to dream up these ideas. Some were. Some weren’t.
I know I probably sound like the ultimate politician, right? Truth is that in a piece of fiction where more than half of the items located amidst the pages are simply made-up items, I can usually find inspiration from just about anything. Several of the magical contraptions located throughout the series are based on real things, but with an added flair to make them work how I would want them to work. An example of this would be the Multi-Plane Observation Optics (MPO2s) which are basically a pair of magical binoculars that allow you to see the world through another person’s point of view. This was one of the easier devices I created because it somewhat exists.
Distinct and Unique Characterization
On the other hand, something I find I really work at are the different magical races in each of my stories. Of course I have your typical magical beings like Werewolves (known as Razorbacks in the Orion Chronicles), Vampires (Fangtooths), and Ghosts (Paranormals). But once I got through the easy ones, I really had to focus on making each of the other races unique with their own distinct appearances and abilities. StoneHides are a sterling example here; short people with crass attitudes, who are made from stone, and utilize a Scottish accent. Of course there’s more to ‘em than that, but it took me a lot of work to design a distinct and unique set of characters for this series. This sort of depicts the kind of creativity I try to put into every aspect of my stories.
All in all, there’s a lot of work that goes into any writing, fiction or non. The beauty of fiction is that it’s not real. You can write anything you want.
So if you ask me to try and shut my imagination off, stop the creative process and fabrication of completely bizarre things, I’ll simply shoot you a smile and reply, “I can’t do it. I just can’t.”
The writer's creative imagination can be something of a mixed blessing - a great joy, but also a great distraction!
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