Image: RikScott

Since I have been issuing challenges to writers for some time, now, I thought it might be appropriate to formalize the process.  Here, then, is our first official “Writer’s Challenge”.    

What is the Opposite of Creativity?    

Quick-witted that you are, you might say something like, un-creativity, (not very creative, so, maybe that works), or as we’re talking, as always, about writing, perhaps you would say “Writer’s Block”.    

But that isn’t what I’m talking about.  No, in this case I’m actually edging over to the idea of Brainstorming, what it (really) is, how it is done, and when to do it.    

At first look, brainstorming is just a group of people getting together—often with a leader, or facilitator—for the purpose of generating as many ideas as possible in a short time.    

In our case, at least for most of us, brainstorming is sitting at a keyboard and thinking until bullets of blood pop out of our foreheads… or some such thing.    

Fair warning: when we attempt to brainstorm, to come up with a “knock their socks off” idea, we often resort to weak method.    


In my series of articles on creating your own world, I warn that “…just doing the opposite of X…” isn’t really brainstorming.  When you use opposites to formulate a character, a story-line, or any component of your work, you are setting yourself up.    

Opposite is a thin disguise for laziness, one that your readers will see through.    

Now, waitaminnit, you say you can never…  Whoa!  Hold ‘er, Knute.  Never is a harsh word.    

Using opposites as an idea starter is an excellent idea.  It is only bad when you just turn something around and use it without thinking of the possible fallout.  Yes, indeed, think opposites, but then take it a step or six further.  Think about where the opposite (something) would lead if given free rein.  Think about how people would react to this opposite.  

Brainstorming is a good thing.  Using “what isn’t” against “what is”, is a tried and true method for creating a good idea.  Got that?  Good.   

Now, here’s the challenge: Think up a way to use an opposite to enhance your writing.  Keep in mind that a simple mirror-image is seldom good enough (note that seldom does not mean never), and share with us your idea.  

Your thoughts?