Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Finding a Different Place to Bloom

Sometimes, creativity flows like barbeque sauce at a tailgate party, like mullets at a Nascar race, like coffee at a writer's conference . . .

And sometimes it . . . doesn't. For those delirious, dull-eyed moments, I would like to offer a helpful little tool: juxtaposition!


Think of the tenderness between the desperate characters in Les Miserables. Charlotte's death during the county fair in Charlotte's Web. Two opposing elements find a way to work together. Whether it is in a theme or a moment, juxtaposition infuses ordinary stories with exquisite tension.

So what about your story? What if your character confessed her undying love at a funeral? What if he's composing his resignation letter at a birthday party? What if the dormant flower garden signals life instead of death? What about slow dancing in the emergency room. Journaling at a bus stop. Childbirth in a stable. Lovely trash.


Try one of these:

1) Write a scene where two seemingly opposite things occur at the same time. Or,
2) Describe something generally thought of as ugly in a beautiful way.

How can you have fun flipping stereotypes in your story? How will fitting opposites together push you to imagine differently? What connections might materialize?

So let that creativity flow . . . like . . . dishwater after a week-long writing blitz, maybe?

5 comments:

Georgiana said...

Childbirth in a stable--I love it =) Great ideas, Lori! I often find I need a little jumpstart every now and then.

jenness said...

Thanks, Lori! Good ideas. If I could wake up, maybe I'd use 'em. :-)

Betsy Ann said...

Great suggestions!! =)

Vasthi said...

I love the ideas and the photo of tulips surrounded by snow is perfect. It gives us a visual image of what you are trying to push us to do. Thank you for the nudge.

Anonymous said...

Lori, I've never thought of juxtaposition for writing my scenes. Terrific idea! Thanks so much for sharing that.

Debbie P.