Monday, September 27, 2010
List-Building Begins With Threads….
Coming Up With 100 Plus Ideas in A Couple of Hours!
The professional creative person will first come up with ‘threads’ to exploit and not the end items. It helps to have these thread items created first because as soon as one thread stops producing ideas, you can immediately switch to another thread. If you do this well, you can usually come up with one idea a minute. You also avoid down time when no more ideas come from a dry thread.
For example: consider the “Ways to Show Your Hero and Heroine Falling in Love”
First make a list of threads:
The physical. What does your body tell you or show you. Do you feel differently and how? These should be new experiences not felt with other girlfriends.
The psychological. What is your mind telling you? . Are you daydreaming about the person in a way you have not with other women. Again first time experiences are the best.
The economical. What does this mean in terms of money. For first time hero wonders if it is true that ‘two can live as cheaply as one.” (What if a wife makes more money than the man? Could I live with that?)
The spiritual. What this means from the point of view of your religious or metaphysical belief system. This works best when it is the first time the hero has considered these issues with relation to a woman. (He is doing this without thinking in terms of marriage, yet. He often concludes with, “Why should I care anyway?”)
The pragmatic. How do married people decide on food and spending, and household chores? This works best when it is the first time the hero has considered these issues.
The metaphysical. What would it be like to ‘loose my freedom’. Could I actually be happy in a committed relationship? How much of your true self can you give up in a relationship and still be who you are: an authentic person. This works best when it is the first time the hero has considered these issues.
The behavioral. Ways the hero acts differently than he did in the past. This is best if he does these things without thinking about them and then when he notices them, he chides himself. (He starts wearing a watch all of a sudden. She does not like it when people are late.) Show, show, show.
The female: how a woman would view all the other threads listed here differently than a man would. (This will give you a whole new set of ideas to squeeze more ideas out of the other threads.)
The male: how a man would view all the other threads listed here differently than a woman would. (This will give you a whole new set of ideas.)
The young: how would a young person view all the other threads listed here differently than an older person would. (This will give you a whole new set of ideas.)
The senior; how would an older person view all the other threads listed here differently than a young person would. Would the older person feel ‘nostalgia’ at the first sight of a heroine rather than a spark of lust? (Look at things thorough many different eyes.)
The skeptical: How do I know this is the real thing? Show doubts in the various actions the hero or heroine takes. (Yes this can also be physiological but it is a more refined thread and can lead to new ideas once you thought that tread has run dry.) The hero plans to buy tickets to a show that will really please the heroine but on the way to buy them he has second thoughts: “Why am I doing this?” and decides not to buy them. This is a strong case of showing an inner turmoil.
The professional: how will this alter my career plans? What kind of woman would just up and move to Santa Fe, if I got that promotion I dream about? Hero never considered this before. He’d move and that is it.
The Educational: should I take more college classes or go to on to get an advanced degree? Why? Heroine has masters and he does not. Always think of showing.
The Seasonal: How would these threads differ by season. “How would the heroine fit in or react to my big family’s Thanksgiving dinner? Hero has never worried about this before with other women he has dated.
Actually these are just a few threads. I could think of many more but I have enough ideas on this question already. You can see that if you get your threads in place first, you can come up with many ideas very quickly and avoid down time when the creative well runs dry on a given thread. I feel 100 ideas are always doable if you start with sufficient threads.
Like many skills, the more you practice, the better you get. Why not give it a try.