Drawing from other arts

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

My friend everwalker recently linked to a video about the hero’s journey, created by Extra Credits. The folks at Extra Credits are computer game designers, focussing on the gaming industry and lessons for game creators. I don’t play many computer games and definitely don’t create them, but I ended up watching video after video from their feed, and gaining a lot from them. Partly this was because, as a narrative art, computer game design has things in common with fiction writing. But there’s also a wider point.

I’ve learned a lot that’s useful as a writer from looking at other mediums. Scott McCloud‘s ‘Understanding Comics’ and ‘Making Comics’ contain great insights on story structure and characterisation. Movie Bob’s ‘The Big Picture‘ includes lessons from film in the use of tone and setting. Unpicking great songs has taught me a lot about pacing and the efficient, evocative use of language.

But there’s more to it than these directly relevant lessons. Listening to any artist talk about their craft helps you to develop your own critical thinking and insight into the act of creation. It gets you into practice, so that you don’t experience the world as a passive sponge, with experiences dribbling in and out, but instead analyse it, connect the parts together, and learn to use that understanding for your own creations. Creative thinking requires critical thinking, the ability to balance a choice between two words and pick the better one, and anything that sharpens that thinking will help.

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Comments
  1. Fantastic post but I was wondering if you could
    write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Kudos!

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