MAKING CREATIVE CHANGE PART V
ONE OF the first steps in creating the New is development of a prototype. That which can hint at innovations to come. As Henry Ford did with his first prototype, an automobile constructed largely from bicycle parts.
A prototype is a demonstration model intended to serve two purposes:
1.) To show potentials of the design or concept.
2.) To reveal flaws when ideas become reality.
By definition a prototype is not a finished product, or the ultimate expression of the intended product. But it should point a direction– a new path for creators to follow.
We’ve developed prototypes of new kinds of literary journals (see them here). But we’re also working on what we call the multidimensional or “3-D” short story.
One of the simpler ones we’ve released to date is “The Perfect Candidate.” Note how the opening is intentionally disorienting– the idea to disorient readers then quickly reorient them. (“Where am I? Who’s speaking?”) The narrative in this one is linear– but the changing viewpoints allows the writer to hint at what he wants, obscure what he wants, and reveal what he wants.
The story is designed-– as designed as a modernist skyscraper or the layout of a glossy New York magazine. The goal: a more rounded version of reality. The idea behind this story, this prototype, is to point to the endless possibilities of the well-designed story.
THE NEXT STEP is looking upon the short story– or the nonfiction essay– as part of an entire aesthetic.
The objective is to put the literary world into a state of flux, where change becomes constant– the only way to diminish the built-in advantages of an institutionalized, monopolistic status quo. Then– to stand out among the innovators.
Timing is key, as it was for Henry Ford. No one remembers the other tinkerers and pioneer automobile innovators, the other hundred-or-so fledgling car companies in the first couple decades of the Twentieth Century.
No one will remember this project unless we achieve artistic breakthrough.