Honing authenticity and creativity

If you managed to read past the title to this post – thanks! I realize it’s a less than straightforward concept.

As I write, I want my story to both be meaningful and fun.

Too much raw authenticity is a unpalatable (to me, at least), and people can only take so much of it. Like a rich food, the first few bites are manageable, but then you start to feel sick. Deep must not feel too deep, or you don’t want to read a whole novel of it.


So combine authenticity with creativity: creativity can make authenticity light, fun and easy. A hard subject can be viewed in a new light, in a story.

Yet, unwieldy creativity feels a bit like trying to herd dragonflies – it looks pretty but can fast becomes ridiculous. Every story can take a thousand different directions, and in a fantasy, you can really go crazy (!).

Thankfully, story structure has forced me to hone authenticity and creativity. It’s taking awhile, but I’m thankful for structure.

As I revise my outline, over and over again, I am able to continue to layer authenticity and creativity into my characters, scenes and world. It’s a challenging but inspiring endeavor.

layered cake

Lessons learned:

  • Be super creative: come up with a bazillion wild and beautiful ideas.
  • Be super real: “be there” – what is really going on with the characters? What do people actually go through?
  • Follow proper story structure.
  • Combine the above until the story starts to feel settled, where the fantastic ideas compliment the vulnerable realism, and they work together, within the proper structure.


8 thoughts on “Honing authenticity and creativity

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