Who knew a course on writing fiction would turn out to be the philosophical equivalent of a UFC throwdown?
So let me begin in the (slightly) shallower waters: What is creativity? When you are being creative, what are you actually doing? McKee defined creativity in an interesting way. He said that creativity is the art and skill of making connections that have never been named before between things that already exist. As an example, he quoted this line from a Carl Sandburg poem:
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
He makes the point that the creative artistry in Sandburg's poem isn't in writing about fog or little cat feet, but by naming the previously unseen connection between them. Once you read this, says McKee, you can never experience fog in quite the same way.
Another example: The photograph by Brian Rust, above, in which he draws out for us the curiously disturbing beauty entangled in a mass of automobile corpses. And another: The elegant lyric in Brooke Fraser's song "Shadowfeet" (video below): "I am changing / less and less asleep." Again, the creativity, the artistry, lies in identifying a fresh connection between two things that already exist--in this case, personal transformation and the process of slowly waking up.
What do you think? Do you agree with McKee's definition of creativity? How might you spin it differently, or make for us a new connection?