Creating a short story using 21 Synectics steps
It is not uncommon to come across someone vibrating with and excited about a new idea, thinking about how that idea is the next big thing. But I have to sadly say some ideas remain just that, ideas. Creative writing is one area that has suffered and endured such a fate. Anyone who has written would know that it requires discipline, handwork, creativity and a strategy. Consequently, the 21 synectics steps come in handy in turning ideas into workable concepts. Let us take the example of creating a short story of a young man looking for a job us this steps.
21 Synectics steps
Finally, 21 synectics steps help the mind to stretch itself and consider what can be termed preposterous and undoable. Helps to turn ideas in something workable
- Subtract: this is the process of simplifying, omitting unnecessary details from the story to make the story zero on the main issue which is getting a job.
- Repeat: you keep harping on it, making this theme the central part of the story and everything else rotates around it
- Connect: here you combine the main theme ,joblessness with something else for example lack of employment and inability to meet economic and social needs
- Add: you augment and expand the subject under consideration by introducing a new angle such as joblessness is caused by discrimination or corruption
- Transfer: taking the subject into a new environment, the young man we are looking at in the short story can relocate to a new town in search of greener pastures
- Empathize: putting oneself in the shoes of the subject, try to make it clear how this state of joblessness is an affront to his ego and dignity, to make him more relatable
- Animate; to make the character come alive in the story perhaps through monologue and repetition
- Superimpose: this is done by overlaying or overlapping the subject, introducing another problem that go alongside unemployment, for example homelessness and make them appear as one.
- Change scale: making the subject bigger, for example unemployment getting out of hand resulting in drug trafficking or robbery
- Substitute: thinking about what other idea to replace or take part of the subject, say for example life in prison, as a result of robbery or drug peddling
- Fragment: splitting ideas of the subject into smaller manageable sizes, this can be in form of dividing the short story into distinct sections, dealing with various themes
- Isolate: after splitting the ideas you can set them apart, so that you give attention to each one, independent of the others
- Distort: introducing another twist to the story, for example the mother of the young man taking her life because of his incarceration
- Disguise: this can be done by concealing the underlying message you are in essence communicating, it can be by way of satirizing failures of the public system.
- Contradict: you can decide to challenge and contradict your subject here, this may go against the popular views for instance when you say the young man is jobless because he is lazy
- Parody: this can be done in terms of creating humor, poking fun at the joblessness of the young man ,frying the subject and creating humor in the process
- Prevaricate: bending the truth and fictionalize the story, this can even mean exaggerating parts of it
- Analogize: this is done by drawing similarities between things that are different, a jobless person and an unhappy employee, how both of them see their lives as miserable.
- Hybridize/metamorphose: match the idea with an improbable situation, being jobless and having so much to do, a jobless is busy and frustrated knocking on office doors for a job while an overworked person is frustrated because of so much to do.
- Fantasize: create a surreal image, go beyond limits of being jobless and think of outlandish things in the short story, what if the young man was a CEO of some multinational
- Mythologize: making the story sound like a legend, something not in the realm of reality for example by making the young man have some supernatural ability.