NURTURING ARTISTIC TALENT takes many forms. Photography provides a creative outlet for me that can often work wonders to alleviate writer’s block. When I do the things I love–traveling, hiking, gardening–I can drift toward a more zen-like state which makes writing more likely to happen. The ways we tend to our creativity know no bounds. Today’s guest Rick Pipito is here to offer some words of wisdom on the topic.
Nurturing Artistic Talent
Artistic talent comes in many forms, and fortunately I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in most of them. My life in Philadelphia has enabled me to meet some amazing talent along the way. Music, art, and movies have always played an important role in my life, but my main focus over the past few years has been my own writing.
What inspires me to write? All of the above. I am a musician at heart, so I’ve been writing songs with bands for more than half of my life now, but the ideas in my head expanded beyond that. Now, as I turn my ideas into stories, my style has slight hints of influence from various external sources.
As a child, I’d sit in my room for hours. My brother and I would have comic books scattered across the floor, and while he (being the artist that he is) would look at the pictures, I was interested in the plotlines. A good story always captivated me, and while the art was always fun to see, it was how the characters acted and spoke that grabbed my attention. I wanted to know because when we’d play with our action figures, I needed to know exactly how someone like Spider-man would handle a situation. Was he sarcastic? Was he mean? What kind of a personality did he have? Those were questions I needed to know, and that is what helped me to develop the scenarios that Dan (my brother) and I would set with our figures.
As time went by and I grew out of the comic book phase, I kept wanting to connect with characters, but became more focused on plot. Movies did this for me. I didn’t necessarily want spoilers, but needed to know the hows, whys, and whens of story progress. The characters set up a scenario, and you knew that the good guys would usually win, but how did it all happen? I took particular liking to stories where I cared about the characters that were put in these situations.
When movies hadn’t been enough to fulfill my craving for extraordinary situations, I began reading. My mother is a Stephen King fan, so I began there. It took me a book or two to like reading, but once I found the type of novel that I enjoyed, I couldn’t put them down. It had evolved from characters and plots to mystery, suspense, horror and action. I wanted it all, and couldn’t get enough. From Bob Mayer to Dan Brown to Dean Koontz, I had an arsenal with which to discover more.
It was because of this that the next logical step beyond music was for me to write. I approach writing with an amalgamation of what I learned:
1) My characters need to be relatable. I want them to be so that the reader can either see themselves in the characters’ shoes, or know someone that they could see with that personality. I want people to love or hate a character with no holds barred. It is this connection that makes step 2 work.
2) The scenario and setting of the story has to be threatening to certain characters. And what about all of the mysteries of the past? Things like Easter Island, The Garden of Eden, King Arthur, and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart are but a few of the intriguing moments in history. I strive to explain or extrapolate on these events, while having the audience want to know more. Why does this work? Because like me, the reader wants to know a “potential” explanation; even if it is fiction. Hours and hours of research can be tedious to make these things work, but it all pays off in the end because I feel I’ve done it right.
3) Having a beginning and an ending to each book is necessary. I’m talking beyond the pages. Sure, a book has a front and back cover, but what if it is a series? I want someone to be able to pick up book 3 in my series, and be able to understand what is happening, even if they haven’t read book 1 or 2. To do this, each book needs to focus on one thing, and at the end of that book, that one thing needs to be concluded. Then I add a little teaser as to what’s to come; like a cliffhanger. It makes the reader go, “Oh, there’s going to be a new direction. I wonder what will happen next.” In this way, I can bring in new readers at any point, and keep the old ones at the same time.
These are the main ingredients with a sprinkle of other techniques here and there that I think captivate my audience, and me. At the end of the day I write for me. I think about what I’d like to see on screen, or read and that’s what I go for. The bonus to it all is the fan feedback. Whether it is positive or negative, I take it all in, and strive to better myself.
My first book gained me a big audience, and it has grown since. Heck, the first book’s reaction is why I decided to do a spinoff series, but in comic book form. From there, my brother and I formed sCrypt Comics to expand my stories and his art, in conjunction with other people’s talents.
Life itself is the biggest influence in everything that we do, and this is evident especially in writing. I admire the talent of my fellow writers, musicians, foodies and artists. If I can impress that same influence on just one other person, then it is all worth it. Tune in for lots of great things I’ve got in the works. I promise that this is just the beginning of a long and wonderful journey.
What steps have you taken to make sure you are nurturing your artistic talent?
Rick Pipito is an author, on air personality, and musician from Philadelphia, PA. His ever popular FLESH AND LEFTOVERS horror series has placed him in to the top 25 of independent authors on authors data base. He also worked with his brother to form sCrypt Comics, where he strives to help other indy artists and writers by creating graphic novel spinoffs of his main books. In addition to his writing, Rick is also the CEO of Homemade Delish, a place where all foodies can go to follow his wife’s amazing talents. Follow Rick on Twitter and instagram @Rickpipito. Check out Scrypt Comics.
Permission must be granted by Rick Pipito to use the author image in this post. The featured book cover is for promotional purposes only and complies with fair use guidelines.
NOW AVAILABLE: Please check out my latest proofreading project Claudia Must Die by T.B. Markinson and my latest copy editing project Stealing Time by KJ Waters. She also just released a calendar Men of Steel Featuring Models From Blondie’s Custom Book Covers.