Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Creative Endeavor

A passage from The Art and Craft of Novel Writing by Oakley Hall prompted the following.

Some say the craft of fiction writing is the use of skills learned, borrowed or stolen from past practitioners of the craft in recreating events for others previously existing only in the mind of the author. This may be true in part, but I believe this system is but a small, limiting part of the creative endeavor.

Yes, we do pick up skills from others. Our teachers, and the reading of our preferred authors give us a framework for creation, but the foundation of story, its genesis, already exists—on another level, a field beyond the mental realm, in the experience of all. Furthermore, the teachers of great writers are more often past masters of the craft that work directly with, though most often not even conscious to the current apprentice.

Creation to me is not so much the manipulation of ideas and language for mood and possibility, but more the reading of what is and the acceptance of pure inspiration. And this applies to all true art, whether it is of a factual nature or rendition, or of the fanciful. The story, the song, the dance of light and color in performance and visual arts—are all already in being. We could not imagine them were they not of a living form. The idea that we must channel our creativity through the laws of physics is quite elementary in the evolution of culture. Recollection and tuning-in, with the masterful assistance of one’s non-physical staff, are the skills predominant in the art of evoking profound experience in the being of others. So much more than mental reality, a creation in performance or observation evokes all the senses, not just the five physical ones.

To watch the still expression of a mime,
to ponder the Mona Lisa from the bench in the Louvre,
to whisper a word in the ear of your lover
or to imagine it, or all of these events
are … dot dot dot . . .

Who wrote it?
I just transcribe.

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