Your creativity can be one of the most powerful tools you can have in your writing toolbox. If you’re not feeling particularly creative, this can have a direct negative bearing on your writing. The question then is how do you maintain your creativity? Doing improvisational comedy (or simply improv) is one way. If you’ve never heard of improv, it is an art form usually associated with actors, who create scenes on the fly with other ‘players’, totally unscripted. There are a number of reasons how doing improv can help your storytelling. Read on to find out about some of these:
Helps you to open up the creative part of your mind
When you’re playing improv with fellow players, in a scene, you’re adding to what someone else has just said through words, or actions and what you do add is totally unscripted and unrehearsed. This requires you to use your wit and to be creative. If ever you’re experiencing a writer’s block, hit a local improv workshop and join into some scenes where you just say and do whatever comes to your mind. After this, when you go back to your writing, you’ll do so with a more open mind.
When you do improv, you’re essentially stopping the process of thinking. After all, a scene that is freshly created on the spot can’t be planned out, as planning requires thinking! This lack of planning is also encouraged at an individual level between players. Only when players stop thinking about what to say, or do, can a contribution be spontaneous; this type of spontaneity is a necessity in improv.
How is this relevant to your writing you might ask? Well, at times getting stuck in a rut can be rooted in too much self-doubt about your writing, and this anxiety is caused by thinking too much. Instead, use the halting of thinking you develop through improv as a propulsion system to stop thinking and judging your own writing.
Great source for plots and characters in your stories
When you’re in scene, the idea as described in the previous point is to cease thinking. However, after you’ve completed an act, a number of things would have happened. You would have been involved in a setting and together with others would have created a plot, and developed characters you all had adopted at the start. These are all ideas you can use in your stories when you sit down to write. Similarly, when members of your group are acting out a scene, you can sit as an observer and take mental or written notes of the live story that emerges right in front of your own eyes.
Last but not least – the humor
Improv really wouldn’t be improv without humor, and the magic of this art form is that players create humor naturally as scenes develop and progress. For instance, a few players will be acting naturally, building upon each other, and what will seem like out of nowhere, a player will say something, or do an action that will be absolutely hilarious! Analysing funny scenes that you were involved in, or by watching others can give some wonderful ideas to add some humor into your tales!
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on e-Books India in December 2014.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]