Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nine Steps of Creativity

Hop on over to Adventures in Writing and read this post: Is creativity a “joyful struggle”? It’s very interesting, and there’s a video to go along with these nine steps of the creative process.

Here are the steps:
  • Intended Outcome
  • Information Gathering
  • Information Analysis
  • Incubation
  • Insight
  • Inspiration
  • Integration
  • Implementation
  • Incarnation

For me, the list would read as follows

  • Inspiration
  • Intended Outcome and/or Incubation
  • Incubation and/or Intended Outcome
  • Integration
  • Information Gathering
  • Information Analysis
  • Implementation
  • Insight
  • Incarnation

In order of appearance, here are a few explanations to my madness . . .

Inspiration – doesn’t any idea begin with inspiration, that sly, capricious entity who dances away from us more than She dances with us?? I mean, without the lovely Inspiration how would an intended outcome even exist?

Intended Outcome and/or Incubation – for me, this step is probably third in the process since after the initial Inspiration I need to decide whether I’m going to write a short story, novella, or novel. With this logic, intended outcome really must come in third, rather than second. Sorry intended outcome, but I just stripped you of that beautiful ribbon you were given for coming in second.

Incubation and/or Intended Outcome – seriously people, once the initial burst of brilliance hits me, I need to step back and think for a while, thus the incubation period of the Inspiration.

Integration – this is where I take the Inspiration + Incubation and/or Intended Outcome and merge everything together into a coherent plan.

Information Gathering – well, I have my Inspiration so now I need to gather the necessary pieces to fit the puzzle together. Where is the story going to take place? Is it fantasy? Vampire novel? Heaving bosom romance novel? Snarky diatribe on the State of Margaritas???

Information Analysis – okay, here’s where I decide what pieces of information I need, and how in the crap I’m going to fit them together to form brilliant coherence!

Implementation - here's where I really begin to write.

Insight – hmmmm, I’m guessing insight is what happens as I’m writing and suddenly go in a different direction then originally intended. This is the point where I hit the wall and can’t figure out what to do next. This, my friends, is instinct.

Incarnation – finished, done!! The End!!

How about you? What order would you place the nine steps of creativity??

BTW, I do hope you checked out the blog post at Adventures in Creative Writing.



Davin Malasarn said...

I like that you moved incubation up. I'm the same way. My initial inspiration usually has me too excited to see things clearly, and I just need to sit on the idea for a moment to really evaluate it. This is an interesting list. Thanks for discussing it and for the link!

Robyn Campbell said...

Thanks for the link. Hmmm, I like your list better and I'm with Davin. Incubation has to be moved up. To the second spot. It's a struggle--a joyful one. One that I must do to keep my sanity in this world. Thanks for the great post! :)

SJDuvall said...

Good post, has had me thinking all day about it. I guess once I get my initial thought, I plan a little, then let it sit, then I plan some more...all the while incubating my idea, until it hatches and I gotta plan the whole thing and get to work on it right away.

Scott said...

Davin - I think incubation is the key to any writing project. Yeah, I can come up with an idea, sit down, pound out a rough draft . . . and then spend months revising because I didn't let the idea incubate long enough! You're welcome for the discussion and links.

Robyn - you're welcome. I really think the writing process is different for everybody. And . . . see above. Hey, maybe we could have adjoining padded rooms if we lose our sanity?? We could tap on the walls in morse code fashion! ; )

SJ - thinking all day? Good! Thinking is good . . . well, most of the time. I few times thinking has gotten me into trouble!