Elaboration: the hardest part of creative writing

Elaboration is the process of presenting and developing an idea, by adding more detail to  explain the exterior situation so that the reader gains privileged access to interior thoughts of authors. Forming creativity into a product that someone else can absorb is such hard work that people often avoid it. This keeps ideas in the brain and off paper, not to be shared with others.

In Narrative writing the more descriptive a passage is, the slower it seems. However, the descriptions set a mood and allow the reader to feel like they are inside the story. Elaboration through setting the scene and revealing interior motivations allow readers to see what an author saw inside of their head.

In Informational writing the depth of explanation uses key details to develop the topic. This provides a rationale for what has occurred, is occurring, or could occur in the future. Elaboration builds on key ideas and exposes the cause behind effects.

In Opinion pieces elaboration expound on reasons that support opinions and conclusions. Without elaboration the connection between reader and the ideas of the author is weak or completely lacking.

After one has spun off multiple new possible ways of being creative it is time to stop the spinning and do the work to push one idea as far as possible. Elaboration is the act of  embellishing or adding details to an idea to enrich the initial concept.[1] This adding of details would seem to be the easiest of the creative tasks; however, elaboration scores based on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking are continuing to drop indicating an increased need to teach this particular creative skill. [2]

[1] Torrance, E. (1988). The nature of creativity as manifest in its testing. In Sternberg, R. (Ed.), The nature of creativity. New York: Cambridge University Press.
[2] Kim, Kyung Hee (2012) Yes, There IS a Creativity Crisis! http://www.creativitypost.com/education

This entry was posted in Creativity, Education trends and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Elaboration: the hardest part of creative writing

  1. knlistman says:

    Reblogged this on Write about what? and commented:

    Expressing ideas is harder than coming up with them.

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