Saturday, April 5, 2014
The Game Of SPOON
Sometimes we get stuck for ideas.
We badly need a fix for our fiction, business or life, but our brains keep on throwing out the same stuck stuff.
So here’s a useful game anyone can play.
It’s nothing new, and umpteen variations of it exist OUT THERE, but my version is the simple one.
My version is SPOON.
If you can imagine you possess a SPOON then you can play this game.
So, let’s spoon up some stuff — new stuff, habit-busting unstuck stuff — and dispense it over the horns of our dilemma like soup from a ladle.
Look around you right now, with half an eye on your conundrum. Pick the first two objects you see.
(Right now, I have a blue wine bottle and a door, and a cowardy custard Stucky Not slapped over a short piece of fiction.)
These two objects on your spoon — in how any ways can you make them interact?
That’s the game of SPOON; those are the rules.
Your brain is hungry for a solution to your Thorny P Horny D Thang, but because it can only reproduce what it has already learned, if the problem is perceived to be a STICKLER then it will TRY HARDER at what it already knows rather than SEEKING OUT A NEW METHOD, thus STICKLERATING ITSELF into a husk.
The two objects you spoon (and the interactions you generate between them) constitute your new information, delivered via the mechanism of EVIDENT WHIMSY.
The beauty of this game lies in the fact that it doesn’t matter what objects are spooned. Very often, when we seek out new information to help us solve a puzzle, the nature of the puzzle determines the nature of the information we hunt down.
So, here I go with my wine bottle and my door.
family of wine bottles (kids’ story — so maybe POP bottles...)
message in a bottle is cabin door from captain’s missing miniature ship
pour doors as wine
door Oddjob hat’s its way through bottle at circus
thug hits door with bottle
positional — door balanced on bottle, bottle balanced on door
bottle pouring doors (like this idea) — wizard’s portal, metaphor for de-inhibitory effects of alcohol, 200' bottle full of doors for environmental re-peating of Ireland
That’s a minute’s worth. If I hadn’t been required by bloggerly example provision necessity (B.E.P.N.) to type all that out then I would have generated more links and ideas.
Try it now, with UR thang.
When your game ends, you ought to find yourself holding two things:
1) An adrenaline rush from engaging in combinatorial fancy. Beats donning a jogging suit and embarrassing your neighbours.
2) An idea (or ideas), however small: MOVEMENT.
My choice, from my game of SPOON, is the bottle full of doors.
Now I have a corrupt wizard and a theme of false promises. Is a scoundrel loose in Fairyland, offering pirated portals to Narnia? Or is my wizard an unscrupulous business tycoon who plies unsuspecting victims with cocktails of mind-bending smart drugs at product launches?
Only one thing is certain.
Until I played the game of SPOON just now, I had NONE OF THIS.
Until I scooped up a blue wine bottle and a door with my SPOON and unleashed my brain on the gulf between them, no wizards were forthcoming and I’d forgotten I’d even forgotten about Irish peat bogs.
The game of SPOON works especially well with fiction, including that awkward subset of fancy we like to call FACT (and I’ll catch up with that rascal, “the Future” in a future post...).
So away with your 10-Step creative plans, your flowcharts and your cerebelluar gazetteers!
Lead with a SPOON, 2 objects — and your hungry brain.
It’s like the I Ching for goobers. Prom.