You know, creative writing doesn’t have to be just about creating new characters to write about, you could also adopt a different personality whilst writing. Imagine the difference that this could make to your creativity.
Here are some advantages of writing as someone else:
- Releasing the fear. Some people get stuck with their writing because they are afraid of what their family and friends will think of them. Adopting a personality that does not have friends or family could help with that.
- Unique voices. It’s difficult, sometimes, to give each character in a novel a different and unique voice. Often this is because the author is constantly writing from their own point of view and is therefore injecting too much of their own personality into each character. If the author were to role play different characters whilst writing, then this could go some way towards solving that problem.
- Have fun. It’s a fun and innovative way to spend a couple of hours.
- Get out more. Everyone likes to get out of their head every now and again, whether it be on drugs, with alcohol or just curled up in the company of a good book. Why not get out of your head in a very different way?
- Release the bounds. It can get rather constraining to be the same person year after year and so it could pay to be someone else for an afternoon.
- Be safer. It’s cheaper and safer than cross dressing! It only takes one crack in the curtains and the neighbours will be on to you as you prance around in that tiny skirt and that darling feather boa.
- That healing feeling. It’s a great form of therapy. Yeah, you know what I mean, so there’s no need to embellish.
Here’s a quick road map on how to drive yourself into a different character:
- Shout it out. If you want to be a big, gruff bear of a man in a stinky animal skin hat and a ruddy, weather-beaten complexion then start with the voice. Let out a few roars – the louder the better. Don’t worry about the neighbours – they’ll just think it’s the TV.
- Poo your pants. I once read this fascinating interview with (I think it was) Robert De Niro where he said that to get into the character of an old guy he walked around for a while after having pooed his pants. And even if it’s not true, it could totally work! Use some kind of physical prop e.g. a heavy weight on your belly to simulate pregnancy, shave the top of your head to emulate a friar or put on fish-net stockings to be that prostitute.
- Create tipping points. Get someone to suddenly pour hot coffee on you if you want to be annoyed (as a character). Persuade someone to cook a lovely meal for you if you want to be satiated. Get yourself tickled if you want that wild, breathless feeling coursing through you.
- Don’t do this. I was just browsing the web and I came across this: “When he was cast as Vincent in Collateral, the only real villain of his career to date, he was determined to get it right. So Tom Cruise secretly murdered six homeless men.” Not a recommendation. Here endeth my browsing for the day!
You don’t even have to confine these tips to the writing game. If you want to add a little spice to your life, or if you want to shake it up a little, it’s worth trying a few of these things in your day to day existence. Who knows – you might even enjoy yourself!
What have you done, lately, to lift yourself out of the daily dust?