Riffing On Someone Else

Can’t find your own inspiration at the moment, but feeling an uncontrollable urge to create? Try some of these ideas (many of which have been shared on one of the other blogs) to get yourself started.

  • Write the next scene after a book, movie, or television episode ends. (This can be particularly fun with an action television series.)
  • Write down the first or last line of a book or movie, and build your plot from there.
  • Swap two characters and rewrite the story with them in different shoes.
  • Pick a favorite song and write out the story in the song.
  • Or just pick a line from the song and write from there.

While these are all writing suggestions, adapt them for other purposes.

  • If you see a room layout in a magazine that strikes your eye, play with it. Switch the main and accent colors. Go for the color complements.
  • Find an element of a motif that attracts you and build something new around it.
  • Find a favorite piece of music. Identify the feelings it evokes, and then create to evoke those same feelings. (Remember that exercise in elementary school music class where the teacher would play a piece of music and you had to draw what you heard. This is the same thing, only grown up and without being told your interpretation of the music is incorrect.)
  • When you’re looking at something, ask yourself, “What if?” Let your questioning run wild. It’s amazing what comes from playing a little game of “What if?”

It’s a good idea to keep track of lines, songs, and images you find yourself reacting to strongly. Add them to your design notebook. When you get stuck or just need a little burst of inspiration, flip through the pages to find an unsticking point.

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One thought on “Riffing On Someone Else

  1. Pingback: The Creativity Block | Genius in Transition

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