Friday, February 21, 2014

Syfy Face-Off: creativity techniques and inspired to outline

The other night, I got a bit obsessed with watching Face-off.  As I watched the show, it quickly became clear to me why the winning Face-off creations rose above the rest. 

The thoughts I had weren’t revolutionary. They took me back to the creative process I used when I competed in design contests as a professional florist. They also made it clear that I’d felt a bit stymied by my WIP because I’d moved away from these techniques in favor of focusing on word count and speed. 

Here are the ideas/techniques I was reminded of:

Of course, good technical execution is a must.  And the idea has to be something that will function and hold together. The building blocks need to be solid.

Don’t be satisfied with first, second or even third ideas—take the time needed to brainstorm and push the idea to a new level, make it fresh.  When I competed as a professional florist, I spent a lot of time thinking about what the competition might do, and then purposely took my brainstorming in the opposite direction. There is always a new way to look at anything, a fresh take—this is creative choice.

Stretch your abilities.  I am always more creative when I challenge myself to try something difficult or new.  Successfully doing something challenging brings a great feeling of satisfaction.

Give the audience a new sensory experience. This might seem impossible with Face-off being so visual, but the best designs also used the sense of touch and hints at smell to expand their creations.  Glistening slime, soft flowing lines, rough fabrics, traces of smelly sweat and rotting guts…

Up the creep factor. It’s easy to tone something down, but impossible to get the audiences attention once the moment has passed.  Go large. Drama.

So, hours of TV was just what I needed to make me realize I needed to step back, take time to brainstorm in more depth and outline in more detail before moving forward again.

Guess, I better get at it J

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book Giveaway Winner!

The winner of MIDDLE GRADE, THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE is Robin. Congratulations!!!