So I have a confession, I like Angry Birds. Even more to the point, I like the Angry Birds Star Wars games. Being a kid who grew up with the ‘original’ Star Wars trilogy, I just find he games fun, and interesting. And having a young son, all the new Star Wars stuff I get exposed to as well, and it’s a game we enjoy together. It’s simple to play, sometimes frustrating, and makes you think about ‘HOW’ to do something.
In very simplistic terms..
1) In Angry Bird games, you have a clear goal, but how to get to that goal is sort of up to you. Sure they give you a set of ‘tools’ in the birds, but they let you substitute (if you can) other birds in. In writing, just because you know what the goal is, or at least have an idea, you have free reign to choose *how* to make it happen. As a starter/newbie/beginning writer, one thing that I’ve had to force myself to do is not try and force something to go the way I thought it should. Meaning this, if a main character is going to go do X, and I thought it was going to happen because of Y, but it doesn’t work. I have had to stop FORCING myself to make it work that way. One of the harder lessons in writing for me.. just because it works in my head, doesn’t mean it works on paper.
2) In Angry birds, sometimes when I’m really stuck, I get random, I just throw different birds at a puzzle with no idea of how it’s going to work, if at all. In writing, I’ve also had to struggle with self censorship. I start to head down and path, but discard it before it’s fully formed. I don’t just try it, I don’t just go with it, I stop it and let it die, before really seeing if it doesn’t work. It’s that old “self edit/self censor” issue that a lot of beginning writers have.
3) Angry Birds is a game. It’s designed to be fun. Writing while not a game per say, I at least feel it should be FUN. I am not a subscriber to the ‘tortured artist’ theory. If writing isn’t being fun, or interesting to do, then for me at least I’m doing it wrong.
Now if you read all that, and you read my about me (go on, read it.. I’ll wait) you may be a bit confused. Yes I did a lot of creative outlets for a long time. And I didn’t used to have these challenges then. I think as my life has changed, and I’m embarked in career paths that require less and less creativity, and more and more logical rules, I’ve lost some of that ‘try it’ approach. But if playing Angry Birds helps me relearn it….
Where’s my phone? 🙂