The Story of a Magpie

A sorrow and a secret never to be told

Glanside Creative Techniques including Essential Glanside and Mixology have been used in The Story of a Magpie.  The following is a summary its Creative Structure.

 Specific Ideas

The Story of a Magpie uses Attribute Listing and Material Fusion to develop the Specific Ideas on which the text is based. 

Technique: Attribute Listing

Attribute Listing is the initial definition of the Specific Ideas – i.e. the key material, concepts or themes you wish to address through a creative work. It is helpful for comparison and analysis purposes if Specific Idea Attributes are defined in similar formats.  The following are suggestions for structuring the Attributes you wish to focus on:

  • How to/does…..
  • IWWM (In What Ways Might)….
  • What causes….

Initial definition of the specific ideas for The Story of a Magpie:

  1. How might a community resist the outsider  – and investigation by an outsider?
  2. How is such a highly suspicious community response to be undermined?
  3. IWWM information – which others could have overlooked – be brought to light?
  4. What impels the actions of the government agent in this case?

Technique: Material Fusion

Material Fusion is the process of fusing additional material with your initial Specific Idea Attributes.  Material Fusion assists in the evolution or further development of your Specific Idea Attributes:

  1. Write down a short description of the nature and/or objectives of the specific ideas you wish to assess (taken from Attribute Listing in this example of Mixology).
  2. Consult any source material that you think is compatible with your objectives – online/offline magazines, books, dictionaries etc.
  3. Select short phrases, objects, or ideas taken from the source material.
  4. Fuse your specific idea descriptions with these new selections from the source material.
  5. Rewrite the specific ideas based on these new idea fusions.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 until your specific ideas meet your creative objectives.

Summary of specific ideas from Material Fusion:

  • The story told by the unusual participants.
  • Actions that counter the ways that others have behaved.
  • People are always lying and trying to forget as it helps them to survive.

 General Ideas

The Story of a Magpie has mostly been developed using Mixology.

Mixology: Random Words, Objects and Ideas

The seamstress as an example of the artisan.

(Idea taken from an online magazine)

Derived Themes (i.e points-of-departure which can be further developed in a potential text):

She had chosen the disguise of an itinerant seamstress.  Her fingers were nimble and she worked quickly.   She could repair a garment, strengthening its material and restitching its seams in a few minutes.

Mixology: Organics

The following are concepts of a bird:

flight – light – nimble – quiet – specialised – focussed – soaring – specific behaviour – distinct call

Derived Themes (i.e points-of-departure which can be further developed in a potential text):

Her nimble eye, driven by an instinct that had been moulded since the time of her first memories, searched the layout of the town.

Mixology: Laddering

The following is a Word ladder beginning with the first rung word ‘disguise’:

Disguise – pretence – illusion – cover up – hideaway – retreat – evasion – façade – cloak – camouflage

Derived Themes (i.e points-of-departure which can be further developed in a potential text):

She travelled with a wagon on which the tools of her cloaking trade were on full display.  The weapons of her real trade were hidden beneath an assortment of cloth designed to distract the onlooker with its colour and pattern.

Mixology: Analogies

Analogy: Like a Magpie

  • Lives off what they can find – insects in the summer – fruit in the winter
  • Will scavenge from any household opportunity
  • Average life expectancy is around three years, although the oldest recorded being more than 21 years old.
  • They will feed on larger prey when the opportunity arises.
  • Urban and suburban magpies have increased much faster than rural populations.

Derived Themes (i.e points-of-departure which can be further developed in a potential text):

They were the scavengers, the predators, the pest-destroyers. They were the agents of the State and the servants of the Deputy Lieutenant. He had created his own network of investigators. They were known as the magpies.