Thursday, May 17, 2012

Whoseewhatsit Thursday: Imaginative Play

As authors, we are often very lineal.  We plot.  We have beginnings, middles and ends mapped out in our brain. Sometimes our details go WAY beyond that.  But at the core of our plotting, things make sense.  We know the exact reason for the twist at the end.  We know our character's motivations. We KNOW our story.
Snatched from

Today, I'm suggesting that you turn that way of thinking upside down. At least for a little while anyway. Give yourself some license for imaginative play, where not everything has to make sense.

One of the things that I love most about, is that the images are often impossible.  Take the one above, you have a kidlet witch looking over a cliff into a sky of sea creatures.  And it's stunning.  There's a whole story there just waiting to be told!  Can you just imagine the possibilities?

So what happens if we take this imaginative freedom and apply it to our own novels?

Maybe nothing.  Maybe we wind up having a little fun, but not loving what comes from the play. No harm, no foul.

But then again, maybe something.  Maybe through playing and experimenting with the impossible, the improbable, you come up with a plot as hauntingly imaginative as the one in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, for example.

You don't have to be a grown up, serious writer every minute of the day. Where's the fun in that?  Think of something impossible and run with it!  And while you're brainstorming, feel free to share some of your most outlandish ideas. Or share how playing with impossibilities has changed your plot for the better. I'd love to hear from other wildly imaginative brains with free reign!


  1. Oh, you hit right to the core of my weaknesses. I am such a pragmatic person in general, my writing is usually concocted of logical rules and procedures (even my fantasy writing). The rules are what ground me and give me safety in the world I'm building. But this is an interesting idea, do you have suggestions of techniques or approaches to start such outlandish thinking :)?

  2. JEM - my best advice is to spend some time browsing DeviantArt in categories that speak to you. Look at the pictures (like this one) that are impossibilities and then ask yourself "what if?"
    I've heard some other authors get their ideas by using the what if theme and combining something ordinary with something impossible. Again, using the picture above, what if sea creatures flew? Or making it even more mundane, what if my water bottle started floating? How would I react? What would it mean?


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