In college earning my Master’s, I took a class on statistics. I’m not a “numbers” kind of person, or so I thought, until I took this class. I realized just how much numbers can tell a person about almost any subject. I also learned that randomness is rarely achieved even though it is a difficult, but highly prized, state for researchers to attain in order to garner objectiveness in research.
Randomness can spark an inferno in a writer’s creativeness.
I wish I had saved a blog post written by the Christian author, Brandilyn Collins decades ago. She wrote a most intriguing post about driving home and seeing a Burger King wrapper tumble across the road in front of her car. By the end of the flash fiction (this was before flash fiction had a name) a man had gone missing and the police were on the hunt for a serial murderer—all from a Burger King wrapper.
I seriously doubt I could be that creative over a used hamburger wrapper. However, sometimes music stirs my imagination. I don’t know the name of the piece but I could hear the punches land and seemingly the grunts of groans of men fighting. Then after several seconds of that, the posse jumped on their horses and chased after the escaped bad man. The images flooded my mind as I was driving home. The bad man’s horse slid to a halt narrowly missing the cliff’s edge, but the bad man flipped over the horse’s head and fell down the cliff scrabbling for hand holds, anything to break his fall. This story unfolded all the way home. Sadly, I didn’t write it down, but I think I’ve seen that scene numerous times while watching Westerns. Okay. So it wasn’t all that original. The point is, my imagination was sparked and this movie played in my mind in living color. Photographs and things in a museum do the same thing creating fascinating stories just because of the subject matter.
There is a museum in Marshall, Texas that has the beaded purse and white gloves of a woman who went missing in 1912 or so never to be heard from again. She was quite prominent, if I recall correctly. That sparked a story that ran though my head all the way home.
The suddenness and randomness of these Sparks jar me out of my ruts and into foreign creative lands. I bet the same happens to you all the time. Something snags your attention and your mind takes off on some tangent far from what you were doing or intending to do. But like me, you might not write it all down or you are without paper, pen, or in a place where you can’t write it down. By the time you can write it down… Poof! It’s gone. But remember, the stretching of your imagination broadened your horizon, and perhaps those ideas or thoughts will come back to you exactly when you need them to round out a character or story… or something.
Writing is a process, not an event or destination. Random creativeness is the fuel that feeds the process.
Now for the fun exercise that should ignite your creative mind.
Here is a website that has numerous random generators: word, sentence, paragraph, Bible verse, etc. This is the link to the random sentence generator, Writing Prompts.
Click on the link, generate a random sentence, and write a paragraph or two from ideas generated by the random sentence. It can be fiction or non-fiction (Although, I’m not sure you’d want to spend a lot of time on researching for this exercise—it is still good practice.). Don’t worry if the sentence that pops us doesn’t spark anything. Generate two or three sentences to choose from. It’s a creative exercise, not a term paper.
It would be so cool if you’d share your creativeness here in comments.
Bookmark this site because it just might help you over a hump in writing. It can give you a random number, weird word, non-word, image, or any kind of randomness that you might need when creating your work in progress.