Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How Good is Your Imagination?

Welcome to Writing Wednesdays! Today's post, like so many of my posts, will probably seem a bit random, mostly because what goes through my mind is a bit random, but it does have something to do with writing...sort of.

How creative does one need to be in order to become a good writer? Can a mother spot the writer in her child from an early age?

In answer to the first question, I have to say I don't know. For sure, there must be some creativity there in order for a person to write fiction. But, what about nonfiction? Again, I don't know. I don't write nonfiction, unless you consider this blog a work of nonfiction. :)

As for the second question, as a mother, I would say yes. Let me give an example to explain what I mean. Kierstin, my 3-year-old is always playing pretend. She brings me barbie dolls, toy ponies and baby dolls, and we make up conversations for them. She make-believes one is fighting another, pretends to save one of them if they are falling, and introduces her dolls to mine, wanting to be friends. She names the bubbles in the bathtub, when I put in bubble bath, asks her family to pretend to be someone else, and today, she named the potatoes that I was cutting for a roast we are having for dinner. lol

"This one's name is Shala," she said. "Cut her real easy. She's a baby."

I promised to be easy, then said, "You'll eat Shala for dinner."

She thought I was teasing and laughed. But, even when she understood I was serious, the thought of eating poor, baby Shala for dinner didn't bother her. Haha!

My other daughter, Faith who is 5 has a wonderful imagination as well, but it is different than her sister's. Faith would rather tell you the story, while Kierstin wants to act it out. One night, after pulling the stopper out of the drain to let out the bath water, Faith asked me, "Can we have a funeral for them?"

"Who?" I asked.

"Our bubble babies we named that are going down the drain."

I was like, "I guess." lol

I guess with an imagination like Kierstin, you'd never be without friends, and with an imagination like Faith's, you'd always have something to write about. :) So, which one will be the writer? Too soon to tell, but Faith has already written a couple of little stories. Of course, Kierstin isn't writing yet, so time will tell.

I don't know how anyone else feels about the subject, but if you don't have a good imagination, then how can you write fiction? How can a writer put life to a long dead historical figure, or a potato, for goodness sake, if they can't imagine it? Imagining how someone would act in different situations is how a writer makes up characters. Being able to come up with different, what ifs, is what stories are made of.

Many people ask me, "How do you come up with this stuff?" talking about my books.

Well, folks, the answer is, I play pretend. Then, because I am me and no one else, I take that pretend and try to make it as believable as possible. All my characters are just that, pretend people with real life situations to go through. Just as people are different and go through different life experiences, so are my characters different. I can't write a book that is too similar to another; it just won't come out right, because if I don't make it up from scratch, then it isn't mine; it's someone else's. And, folks, if you steal someone else's work, it's called plagiarism.

So, that's what was on my mind, when I sat down to write this entry. Any thoughts, y'all would like to share? Always like hearing from my readers, so feel free to drop a comment. What did you think of Monday's interview? Want more of those? Anyone in mind?

Until next time, take care of yourselves, keep smiling, and remember to name your potatoes before eating them for dinner. They probably tastes better that way. lol

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