Writing Wednesday: Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Boost Your Creativity with Restrictions

Four years ago I had a stroke and lost the use of my right arm. Think of how many things you need two hands for! I can’t do up zips or tie shoe laces for example.

But the restriction has made me find other ways of doing things. It’s surprising what you can do if you think creatively. Clothes that need hand washing aren’t too hard, but how do you wring them out? Roll them in a towel, lay the roll on the kitchen floor and walk up and down on it!

IMG-20140730-00074Have you ever tried to free write with no starting point? How long does your mind float about before deciding what to write? Limit yourself to a subject, and the words come much easier.

IMG-20140730-00075AngryIn the same way, your characters have to have restrictions or limitations. They create the crises that give the reader the emotional roller-coaster that grips them. When I first wrote the plot for my science fiction novel Flight of the Kestrel: Intruders, it was about a small space ship with a crew of eleven who all liked each other and obeyed orders. Yes, they had adventures, but how boring! And how unrealistic. Would you believe eleven men, stuck in a small ship, on patrol for weeks, never falling out or getting upset?

Put your characters in limiting situations so they have to find a way out. Ask ‘What if?’ What if the car breaks down? What if the policeman doesn’t like him? What if they arrive too late?

You can ask ‘What if?’ of yourself too, when it comes to finding ways to promote your work. Yes, we know about social media etc. But what if there was no internet? What else could you do? Why not do it as well?



About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
This entry was posted in writing, Writing Wednesday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Writing Wednesday: Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Boost Your Creativity with Restrictions

  1. Pingback: Writing Wednesday: 2014 Writing Roundup | Ann Marie Thinking Out Loud

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s