04 January 2010

Creativity and You

I know that there are multiple ways to be creative, and that different things work for different people, but I'm also known to be insane and disregard what other people say to me.

For example. When I want to sit down and write, I refuse to read anything related at all to what I'm writing. I have this tendency to let my prose get Vancian when I read Jack Vance, to get archaic when I read Lovecraft and to get direct when I read Frank Herbert's Dune. And it doesn't feel right when I merely ape another person's style. There's no satisfaction in it.

The only way to avoid it, then, is to seclude yourself from the outside world's creativity and find what's inside your head. And then to write it. To create it from nothingness.

There are people out there who work best when they take another person's idea, a fairly recent idea, and try to do it better. They fix things a little to make the game they thought they were getting into, with their own little idiosyncracies and whatnot.

This is what's happening in the video-gaming community today. Any look at amateur game makers will show you three hundred thousand Super Mario clones, Sonic clones, Space Invaders, Breakout, and the like. There's nothing wrong with learning, or practising based on what you already know to try and get accustomed to the software, hardware, and programming language you're using, but what are you accomplishing?

Is there any point to publishing what are, in all reality, your scraps? Did you ever find Monet attempting to sell his daily sketches and pass them off as real art? If he did, wouldn't you find that crass and pretentious?

The point is this: Publishing things, and attempting to show them to the world, should be about increasing the value of the entirety with your contribution. In other words, if you haven't got something creative to give to the world, don't give them anything at all.

1 comment:

  1. I mostly agree with what you've written here, but I'd offer a slightly different view from my own experience.

    Way back in 99-01 my then girlfriend was a professional artist. Although she was impoverished (and she certainly was that) she was culturally wealthy. All her artist friends exchanged works with one another and it wasn't uncommon to find her chatting in her studio with another of the resident artists discussing part-finished work and how it might be improved/developed.

    In short, I think that there's a space for people to show off their creativity in rpg systems and that space is the blog or the forum. Where it isn't is DriveThruRPG especially if you're asking money for it.


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