What Fiction Writers Can Learn From A Child’s Mind

Guest Post: Our blogger explores what fiction writers can learn from a child’s mind.

Stuck in a rut? Unable to get the next plot of your story together? All that might be missing is a little bit of creativity.

Writing is a passion of the heart that flows through the writer’s pen, hoping to leave an eternal mark on readers’ minds. However, growing competition in this area of creative expression has made it more difficult for writers to stand out.

What can you do differently? One answer is to look in unusual places for inspiration. Unusual does not have to be something mystical. It can be as simple as child’s play. Fiction writers and children both have fanciful minds. Observing children in their routine games can prove to be an excellent lesson in creativity.

Children dream. Children imagine. And children love. For a child, nothing is impossible. And that’s what separates them from us. They do not think that they will fail. They invent things and they look at things differently.

If you’re looking for a creative plot for your next story, you need to think out of the box by looking at life in a simpler, more imaginative way.

Here are three things writers can learn from children:

1.  Observe children at play

Children don’t need much to imagine a whole new world. You can learn a lot just by observing how children play. Children have the ability to create worlds and characters. They see the fantastic in the most humdrum things. When you see a cereal box, you see just that. However, when a child sees it, he sees the next mega structure in his expanding world.

2.  Let go of mental boundaries

When children play, nothing is out of reach. In a child’s imagination, he could be the king of the world or a wizard in a parallel universe. A child’s mind has no limits of logic, reasoning, or absurdity. For a fiction writer, this quality could be the edge you need. You can take your readers on adventures unthinkable for the ‘rational’ adult brain. Surprise yourself by not restraining yourself by the mundane. You’re writing fiction, and the world’s realities can be moulded any way you want.

3.  Write without limits

You can write about anything under the sun. Or if that is too run-of-the mill for you, then construct a whole new world from scratch. Children do exactly that. They believe in dragons and fairies and they talk about mythical worlds with no hesitation. Such unbridled creativity can prove to be a boon for your writing.

We are easily amused by a child’s fantastical stories. However, if we take them seriously, they are a treasure trove of inspiration. Hand over your pen to the child in you, bubbling with enthusiasm to create something exciting. Do not shy away from challenging Tolkien or Rowling if you believe in your make-believe. Nothing is wrong in the world of fiction.

by John Cabrera. John is a freelance writer, web content writer, editor, blogger, content strategist, and ghost-writer. He is the co-founder of Freelance Writer Opportunities, a blog dedicated to writers’ financial growth. Follow John on  Twitter.
Posted on: 18th August 2016