Sparking Creative InspirationWorkshop By: October Knight Role play and creative writing are based on inspiration and creativity. Creating our own worlds and characters can be an endless journey with infinite possibilities, but when our creative well runs dry and that spark is gone, it can be frustrating to say the least. It would be nice to have a constant tidal wave of thoughts and ideas surging through us at all times, but this is not often the case. Everyone hits a cold streak at some point, a time when no matter how hard you try the inspiration just isn't there. This guide is for the Role Player who has hit a creative brick wall, hopefully some of these tips will help you ignite that spark and set your creativity ablaze! A picture is worth a thousand words Picture this: You're standing on a white sand beach. A cool breeze is lightly blowing, bringing with it the smell of fresh sea weed and salt water. Against the bright sky the sun reflects into the horizon creating a kaleidoscope of orange, blue and red that drips into the ocean with the setting sun. Beautiful, no? Yes! And inspiring too! Now, as we don't all live within driving or walking distance of picturesque nature settings, we do all have access to a near infinite amount of pictures via the internet (Or a near by art gallery). Pictures can draw us in, if we concentrate hard enough we can actually put ourselves (Or our Rp characters) into the picture. I use pictures when writing role play posts in a number of different ways. One thing I like to do is find a picture that is simular to the setting of the RP I am writing for, then try to imagine what my character would do. If it is a picture of a town in the old west, I might imagine my character going into the saloon and ordering a drink, then after several drinks, I might imagine him passed out in a dusty alley! I try to envision what the people inside the buildings might be doing/wearing/thinking. This really helps me get "into character' thus inspiring me to write an awesome post. Music Let the music be your guide! Whatever genre, whatever band, whatever song; It really doesn't matter as long as it inspires you to write. Put on some headphones and get lost in another world. Music is filled with emotion and feeling that can inspire us to write with blazing creativity. Music can work on so many different levels that I feel I could write an entire guide on it alone. What song is right for what I am writing? That's easy, whatever inspires you to write. However, if you want to get technical about it, watch some movies. Yeah, you heard me right movies! Check out several of your favorite films. Now, while your watching pay close attention the music used during different types of scenes. For example Action scenes will usually have fast, impacting music with loud percussion. Drama scenes will have intriguing music with sudden changes in tempo and note structure, etc. etc. All you have to do is decide what type of scene you are writing then find the appropriate music. We, as writers, can utilize this. Not only to get the right 'Feeling' in our posts, but also to spark our creative inspiration! Tap into the Huge collection of music on youtube to find whatever you're looking for! Creativity drawn from fact If your creative spark isn't there, it just isn't there. Not much you can do about that, but there is a never ending supply of fact that we can use for inspiration, and unlike our creative spark It's Always there. How the hell are facts going to inspire me to write about a star fleet, flying through deep space in order to reach the planet Dellock 9? While it is impossible to know what a crew on such a mission would be thinking, it IStotally possible, with a little research and wiki, to find out what the first astronaut to see the moon would be thinking. For all intents and purposes Neil Armstrong IS the captain on the ship in your Role play. His account of setting foot on the moon can help inspire you to write about your characters experience on a foreign planet. This method can work for just about any Fictional situation you might be writing about, and if you are stuck for ideas this is good too, because there is never ending supply of facts! Take a step back Stop what you are doing immediately! Yes, you! The one who is can't seem to get inspired to save your life! Stop pulling your hair out and move away from your keyboard. Forget all about it! Put whatever you're working on at the very bottom on your list of priorities, at least for a while. Do yourself a favor and don't think about your project at all. Now, breathe..... feel better? And don't worry about your story or characters, they'll be waiting for you and will be much happier with what you plan to do with them after you are well rested! Whatever you do Don'ttry to force it, forcing things is never a good plan. It's like raping your muse. So just chill, watch some TV, play a video game, eat something delicious. Give it a few hours (or days even). You'll be totally surprised when out of nowhere you get a sudden rush of inspiration. I think of this like giving my creativity a little rest; A mental vacation is just what the doctor ordered for help getting that creative spark back! Change your surroundings Let your ideas breathe!Get out of the house and away from your computer/writing station for a while. Take a walk, go for a nature hike, a bike ride, it doesn't really matter where you go or what you do. Just get away. Give your creativity a change of scenery. Think about it the same way as yourself when you get bored from doing the same thing hour after hour. Creativity thrives on change and excitement, not from stagnated routine. Sometimes all we need to get that spark ignited is a little break from the norm. Although the tips in this guide have worked time and time again for myself and others, remember that creativity isn't something that should be chained or set to any specific list of rules, I can't stress this enough. If you have a tried and true method of sparking your own creative inspiration, use it. These are just a few helpful tips for the writer/Roleplayer who is stuck and unable to produced the spectacular stories that they are capable of. WORKSHOP EXERCISE Exercise One: Take a picture that you love and gets your creativity flowing. Create a short plot or story to go with that picture. Exercise Two: Put your music player on RANDOM and take the THIRD song. Use the lyrics and sound of that song to inspire an idea.