Creativity is complicated

And now for your amusement, a tour through one of the cluttered creative areas of my mind. Here’s a quick glimpse into the complicated and convoluted fictional narrative that fills my thoughts.

We’ll start with a song with just the right lyric. Sometimes, it’s just a single line. The words being sung evoke an emotional response from me. While I’m caught in the swell of emotion, I start to build a story around the lyric. It’s not enough for me to just feel the sentiment, I need to come up with a context for it.

I think we all do this to some extent when we’re young, putting ourselves into the story as the main character. Luckily, I have a whole stable full of existing and potential imaginary characters that I can plug into these scenarios, so I can stop making it a daydream fantasy about myself. On the other hand, aren’t all my characters just extensions of myself? Maybe it is all about me.

So last week, a song came on and set the creative machine in motion. This time, however, I took it to a new level of  complexity. The story based on the lyric involved 2 as yet unwritten characters, reaching a point of crisis and conflict in their relationship that had been building for several years.

And then I pulled back from that immediate scene and found a way to connect this one story (still about characters that don’t even really exist yet) to 2 other stories, only one of which is currently actually in existence. I was mapping out a multi-story arc plot crossover event where 2 of the 3 story arcs aren’t real, and won’t be real for several years. I had to draw a colour-coded chart to even begin to understand any of this, and I’m still turned around. Complicated!


Published by Chris

I'm an author, freelance writer, dad, and civic busybody living in London, Ontario

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