Monday Thoughts on Creativity: Creativity is Subtraction

Mondays are very sneaky, aren’t they? Just as you get used to living in the weekend, BAM, Monday wakes you up at 6 a.m.

YES. One way I personally interpret this – and I feel there are many ways to read it – is that editing is also creativity. In order for me to write and not edit as I go, I’ll include cliches and wrong words in the first draft of a novel or short story or even poem. I’m trying to get my ideas down, and in novels, twists and turns and psychology. Those are the most important things in the first draft. When I edit, I accentuate my writing style. I delete all unnecessary words and cliches. When I add something, it’s necessary, and when I change something, it’s to make it original. I adjust the character’s voice to sound like them in particular. I consider editing part of the art of writing.

Another way I interpret this is the very reason I love flash fiction, and the shorter the better. I recently wrote two 16 word pieces. I started with something 21 words long and whittled it down to 16 words with careful consideration of tense, anything that slowed it down, every word counting for more than it’s worth, and meaning behind the meaning. I came out with something much stronger than the 21 word version.

My opinion is that creativity is many things, and nothing can be left out. Creativity is subtraction (careful wording), addition (fleshing out characters), multiplication (creating series), and division (anthologies). It’s the only kind of math I care to do.

Twitter Short Story Shenanigans

The other day I had a Twitter convo with a couple of lovely writer tweeps, @Darlow_Life and @GarethBoucher, and we ended up collaborating on a very silly mini story that was SO much fun to play around with. It all came from @Darlow_Life’s idea of mixing my upcoming Victorian-era novel, Anatomy of a Darkened Heart, with @GarethBoucher’s grim, wet world of chavs. What was the result? Victorian chavs! Without further ado, here it is. (P.S. Line breaks indicate separate tweets.)

~~~

“You lookin 4 a sticky wicket may8!!??”

…he said in his top hat and bow tie, mustache curled at the ends.

His adversary, an old, decrepit creature of similar garb looked to somewhere of no interest on the ground…

…before flinging his cane out and tripping the younger fool…

who crashed to the ground in a symphony of curses not heard in the more respectable parts of London…

“I’ve never met such an ill mannered time traveler before, even your lame attempts of tongue are foul…”

“Not as foul as the deeds that will slurry your soul, old man…”

“Just wait until the corruption that comes with age straightens out your mustache, young man.”

As the two argued into a cold, unpleasantly wet London evening, the young man began to weep.

The gesture did not come easily, but come it did, and a gloved hand was offered to the prone young man…

and upon taking the young man’s hand, they were transported in an instant to…

a small kabab takeaway shop in Hull around the year 2178.

“Meatless lamb-strich?! What is this madness!” exclaimed the old man.

~~~

Hope you enjoyed the silliness! Happy Friday!

“Living Idiom” Published by 99Fiction

My latest flash fiction piece, “Living Idiom”, was just published today by 99Fiction on their social media site: http://99fiction.net/page/today-s-story-4. This site is a great place to meet and network with other writers, and it grows larger every day. They also have a new contest going on, so be sure to check them out!