As a young child, picture books were my refuge…
As a young adult, I toyed with the notion of becoming a children’s writer, but ended up becoming a scientist and inventor.
I had to rely on my ability to come up with ideas, mainly because I was such a lousy experimentalist.
But where did these new ideas come from? Was there some rational scheme to enable me to recreate the process?
In 2006, Dr. Alon Amit and I began to give courses in “Multidisciplinary Creative Thinking”, primarily to engineering students.
Again, we found that most of the literature and exercises concentrated on ‘problem solving’, rather than the concept of ‘coming up with new ideas’. We created our own techniques, including 48create (more on that later).
Starting in 2016, I started taking my pb writing more seriously and attended the SCBWI conference in New York….
I found road maps, oodles of books, seminars on everything PB-related, but relatively little on the cognitive road map for coming up with ideas. Again, the same issue.
Hey, but that doesn’t make sense. After all, it’s rather easy to analyze the basis for a successful book idea, isn’t it?
They are twisted, twilight ideas (‘twideas’), juxtapositions, surprising, incongruous, wrong, childish, unexpected. But wherever do they come from?
Some examples might include:
Adopting a squash as a pet
A first-grader who eats her classmates
A mouse who frightens a monster
A school’s first day of school
A gentle bull in a china shop
While I was preparing this workshop, I remembered the conversation I had with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor several months ago about her new book on our four minds….
Whole Brain Living: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life – Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor
illustration on next page from:
Pay attention in particular to minutes 18-21. Note: I talk about religion and use a four letter word.
Character 1 – left brain thinking
verbal, thinks in language, thinks linearly, focused on details, judgmental, concise/precise, conscious, structure/order, categorizes well, critically judges right and wrong
Character 3- right brain emotional
expansive, open, experiential, risk taking, fearless, friendly, kind, empathic, sharing, playful, joyful, goes with the flow, chaotic, curious, innovative.
This is what we need!!!
The only problem with Character Three is…
Are you ready?
CHARACTER 3 DOESN’T READ.
CHARACTER 3 DOESN’T SIGN UP FOR SEMINARS,LECTURES, COURSES AND WORKSHOPS!
CHARACTER 3 WANTS TO BE IN THE MOMENT, BE SILLY, SING, BARK, MESS THINGS UP AND HAVE FUN!
So come on, everyone, it’s time to get silly and bark…
FUN AND GAMES: Mary Had a Little ‘Iamb’
Complete in meter. Be ridiculous and outlandish!!!
Mary had a ______________
pair of keets
EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSES
Take a rose/yogurt/honey/chocolate/etc.
Make a list of five things that are connected with it.
Now make a list of five things that are absolutely not connected with it.
Next: Have fun making the unexpected and absurd connections.
OUT OF CHARACTER
If you were writing a story about a plumber/fisherman/movie star/superhero, then…
a. which is the LAST animal you would consider casting as your main character?
b. what unexpected things would the character have in his/her pocket?
Invent New Words for Fun if not Profit
And now, let’s play 48create….
classmate + moon + pride
New ideas pour in the moment your linear, serious, “mind number one” relinquishes control and invites your spontaneous, mistake-loving, childish, juxtemporaneous “mind number three” to join in for some mischievous brain fun.
I’m available for questions and comments [email protected]