Creativity's Workshop

Taming and Training Your Creativity to Write Abundantly

Creative Actions: Talk to a Child

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A boy lying on a pumpkin...or should that be 'lying over a pumpkin'?

Image Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Hi, I’m Jessica’s Creativity (that’s me smiling down at you from the blog header above). Today I’m inviting you and your Creativity to take creative action!

Every month Creativity’s Workshop encourages you to take creative action by doing something special with your Creativity.

So far we’ve covered crazy research, finding inspiration on Pinterest, declaring yourself a writer with nifty posters and making a writer’s day with a simple message. These are all activities where your Creativity can come to the fore and directly dabble in your everyday life.

This month’s Creative Action requires the following:

  • A young child
  • An open mind
  • Patience
  • An active Creativity

I think it also requires a bag of marshmallows and a yoyo but Jessica insists they’re optional. Sigh.

The Purpose of This Month’s Action

Everyone has a unique viewpoint and voice. When you are able to incorporate these two elements into your characters, you take them from being just words on a page to actual people who talk for themselves. (Your next problem with be getting them to follow along with your plot, but that’s a battle for another day. You can’t have everything, you greedy writer you!)

Your Creativity plays an essential role in crafting your character’s viewpoint and voice. This month’s action will give your Creativity some extra idea fodder to work with.

So what is the action in question?

Instructions

This month I’m encouraging you to have a conversation with a small child.

The goals of the conversation are to:

  • Notice the word choices and grammar hiccups that are inherent to small children, and
  • Discover how the world looks from a child’s point of view.

You might try talking about:

  • School
  • Home
  • Favourite colours
  • Favourite toys
  • What they would like to be when they grow up
  • Disgusting things they’ve recently found in their back garden

Be creative with your conversation but try to talk as little as possible. Let your small friend do the talking. After all, you’re listening for their unique ways of speaking and thinking about things.

When you return to your writing, don’t use the conversation verbatim (treat this conversation with the same thoughtfulness and confidentiality as you would a conversation with any other person), but be inspired by the flavour of the discussion. Let their childish viewpoints and voice infuse your mind with ideas. Use your fresh perspective to create a new character or give an existing character a more distinct voice.

Now potter off and find yourself a small child.

Note: Make sure the child’s parent is happy for you to have a conversation with their child.  This is not an excuse to kidnap children in the name of Creativity.

Now, over to you. Do you remember any of the quirky words or phrases you used to use as a child? Can you remember your perspective on things when you were young? Let us know in the comments.

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