Miyamoto

I am fascinated and inspired by video games, as well as their designers and developers. The greatest game designers have an ability to communicate the themes of the story through gameplay. They make the most of the medium and use all it’s trappings to maximum effect.

One of my favorite developers is Shigeru Miyamoto. If you’re not familiar, this is the mind behind the iconic Mario, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, and The Legend of Zelda franchises. There’s something magical about starting up the first Legend of Zelda, wandering into the world, picking up your sword and setting out to explore. It's timeless.

He is full of wisdom on design and story, and I recommend looking into his work and his interviews. Regardless of what discipline you hope to learn, there are many applicable parts of his philosophy that you can use today. One of my favorites is this quote of his:

A good idea is something that does not solve just one single problem, but rather can solve multiple problems at once.
— Shigeru Miyamoto

How can this be translated to fiction, or writing in general? 

Well, I take it to force myself to look deeper for an answer in my writing rather than picking the first solution that fits. It’s not always about picking an option, but slowing down to pick the best option. 

Don’t use your first idea for a story, or an essay, or a poem. It’s probably not as developed as it could be. This is similar to how you wouldn’t use your first draft of something, but slowing down to revise even the core idea before you start writing. 

I’m not suggesting you should throw away and entirely disregard your first idea. It can be repurposed and reutilized to greater effect with more refinement. It’s more about making sure the idea you plot forward with is really the best option.

There are plenty of other applications for this in writing too, such as with setup and payoff items. You don’t necessarily just want to have Chekhov’s Gun strung up on the wall purely to be used for it’s intended purpose. Maybe see if you can reintegrate an item many times, or to multiple meanings. This gives your writing more depth and makes it more interesting than if you just go with the most predictable option. Often, you want to give the audience what they expect in a way they don’t expect it.

When looking to become a great writer, or a great artist, or a great designer, don’t just look to others in your field. Instead, cast a wider net and see what all creators are doing, even in unrelated fields, and see how that might apply to your work. 

Artifact.

Ore.