Review: Opening the Creativity Diamond

Do you ever struggle with writer's block, or feel like your brain is stuck in a rut, recycling the same old tropes? Do you wish you knew some time-tested techniques to nudge your creative mind in new directions? Do you have trouble establishing (or maintaining) a consistently productive writing schedule? If so, I have something that may help.

I recently read the review copy of Opening the Creativity Diamond: The writer's guide to creative thinking by Tony Jones, which is a book designed to help writers unleash their potential. Tony Jones is a fellow indie author, blogger, and Google Plusser with "years of experience as a trainer of creative thinking tools." In his book, Mr. Jones reveals proven ways to 'jump-start' your brain, including detailed examples, puzzles, and brain teasers.

Mr. Jones explains that "I have tailored a diverse set of techniques for writers. The book contains many examples of the ideas in action along with a few exercises for the reader. There is even a chapter on writer’s block and how to work through it."

The book begins by explaining what the Creativity Diamond is, and how a writer can benefit from understanding it, while Chapter Two explores the Myers Briggs personality traits, and how you can understand your own traits and learn how they influence your creativity. From this foundation, Opening the Creativity Diamond goes on to provide creativity-generating techniques like brainstorming, anchoring, random stimulus, role-storming, and more. In general, the book defines a technique, explains how to use it, describes why it works, and offers tips for implementation.

A favorite example of mine is The Six Questions (or 5Ws and 1H): Who, What, Where, When, Why and How? Mr. Jones describes how you can use these prompts to make sure your writing is creatively providing your reader with the necessary information. Even if you don't answer all six questions in your scene, mentally addressing each will help you craft a coherent and robust narrative, and possibly provide you with fresh ideas you may have overlooked by not considering the 5Ws and 1H.

Although I've read many guides on the various components of writing, and a couple books on personality traits, I've not read a book combining the two into a creativity guide. I found found Opening the Creativity Diamond to be a short (50 pages), fun, educational read, and recommend it to any author searching for ways to maximize their creative potential.

Tony Jones has dined with royalty, supped Slings in Singapore and been taught by several Nobel Prize winners (though he could have paid more attention). He is an Indie Author, freelance writer and blogger based in the early 21st Century. Apart from his day job, he is also a lead writer for Starburst Magazine. He writes about psychology, creativity and the kind of science fiction and fantasy he liked to read in the 1970s.