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They say that every story has been told. As writers, then, we must somehow figure out how to make our stories original and unique. We must push the boundaries of the expected and come up with creative details, characters, phrasing, and plots.

This can be scary…but it can also be fun. It’s the part of the creative process that can baffle us when we’re stuck, but when those ideas flow, we feel inspired.

One of my teenage writing students, who’s also a musician, shared the following video with me. I loved it, and I’ve been thinking about creativity and the creative process ever since.

In the video, the symphony has transformed an idea from dance, a flashmob, into an impromptu concert on the sidewalk. I got a little teary and covered in goosebumps when I first viewed it.

Why? Because it’s so unexpected, and much of the beauty is in the surprise, the children dancing and laughing, people smiling, strangers connecting, the choir joining at the end. The entire concert is a stunning moment.

So what does this have to do with writing?

Everything.

Creative writing is about taking story elements and turning them upside and down and inside out until they become inspired kernels of surprise and beauty.

How do you do that in your own creative process? How do you make your ideas truly original? Do you have to work with them and massage them into a unique idea or do they come to you  in need of little if any tweaking?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.