Lens Illumination

What is Lens Illumination?

Lens Illumination is a process that controls the development of a creative work: from the starting material (specific ideas) – through to the generation of a creative structure (general ideas) – on to the development of the project outline (points-of-departure) – and finally to the establishment of a first working draft.

How does ‘Lens Illumination’ work?

The following sections provide an example of the use of the Lens Illumination Technique in the development of the Novella The Tailor.

Establish the Specific Ideas

The core and comprehensive specific idea of the Novella ‘The Tailor’ is as follows: –

This novella explores the way our experiences and concerns create a lens through which we interpret events; and through which we devise our individual strategies to achieve purpose in life, construct our critical objectives, and define our understanding of a successful or worthwhile condition.

Each section of this creative work is then built around a discrete series of specific ideas.

In The Tailor Chapter 13 – ‘Coming Apart’ the specific idea can be defined as follows: –

This is the moment when Anjali and Panja realise that their individual objectives and central purpose in developing the tailoring business, Threads of Arrow Street, are in such opposition and conflict that there is no longer any common ground over which they can find compromise.

Note: Glanside Techniques that can help in establishing the specific ideas for a (section of) creative work include Material Fusion.

Establish the Creative Lenses

Now establish the Creative Lenses through which this specific idea could be viewed.

The creative lenses that have been used to develop Chapter 13 of The Tailor – ‘Coming Apart’ are as follows:

  • The difference in purpose and approach between the two women is established as the start of the narrative.
  • Unflinching and unworried approach that Anjali takes to every new challenge.
  • This contrasts with Panya’s meticulous preparation for any piece of work.
  • Indication that Panya’s self-control is a breaking point.
  • Everything takes place within the pervasive reality of tailoring.
  • Communicate the experience of a struggle taking place.

Note: Glanside Techniques that can help in establishing the creative lenses through which the specific idea behind a (section of) creative work are to be viewed can be found in the Mixology Techniques section.

Illuminate each of the Creative Lenses

Illumination consists of a series of creative techniques that are deployed in order to bring out the consequences proceeding from applying each of the above creative lenses to the specific idea being explored.

The creative techniques IWWM and 5W1H have been used in the following example. A series of questions shine light on the possibilities that each lens brings to the development of a creative work:-

  • What has happened immediately before this encounter begins?
  • In what ways might (IWWM) the personality of each woman be presented?
  • How might the essence of a turning point in the relationship between the two women be represented?
  • How to represent the world of tailoring that infuses the scene?
  • How to contrast between Panya’s detailed preparation and her loss of that control?
  • IWWM the conflicting purpose of each protagonist be depicted?

Note: Glanside Techniques that can help in illuminating the creative lenses through which the specific idea behind a (section of) creative work are viewed can be found in the Cultivation Techniques section.

Extract the ‘Points-of-Departure

The above creative techniques – comprising asking questions to illuminate the possibilities of each creative lens – will lead to a series of ideas that can be further developed to provide the building blocks needed for a creative work.

These building blocks are known as points-of-departure for the development of a creative work.

Points-of-departure arising through the illumination of the creative lenses applied to the specific ideas at the core of Chapter 13 of The Tailor – ‘Coming Apart’ are as follows:

  • She had set out on the table the tools that she would need for the work that was required.  This was a set piece, a planned alteration to the way things would be; a careful measure of what needed to happen.
  • Anjali entered the room as if this were just another off-the-shelf encounter between the women, placing the files she was carrying on the cupboards to the right of the entrance door.  Panya, who had remained seated as that was the pattern to be followed, was shaken by the unexpected normality of Anjali’s approach.
  • Panya was now on her feet.  She would work to the pattern – or at least as closely to the pattern as this unfurling affair would allow. 
  • You know when the cut and colour and fearlessness of the design is there.
  • Anjali saw no value in responding.  She may as well have put her hand beneath an advancing iron.  
  • She closed her eyes, which suggested that she was overcome.  In reality, she was ensuring that the essential detail was being covered.  This was not a piece of stitching she wanted ever to have to unpick. 

Each of the identified points-of-departure is now expanded by the use of further Glanside Creative Techniques if necessary – to elements of the narrative.

The complete text of Chapter 13 of The Tailor narrative can be seen here.