Mixology – the use of Mixology Creative Techniques – is the first step in Glanside creativity.

Mixology techniques are designed to generate creative ideas at speed.

A new, creative idea is only of use if it can be sorted and moulded in such a manner that it becomes a possible solution for the establishment or further development of a creative work.

Mixology Techniques are designed to generate new creative ideas.

Cultivation Techniques are then used to promote the growth of a creative work by sifting, organising and augmenting these creative possibilities identified in the Mixology stage of Glanside Creative Thinking.

This article describes some of the core Mixology Techniques. It describes how these Mixology Techniques are used and illustrates how the ideas generated from Mixology are sorted, ready for building into creative work with the help of Cultivation techniques.

How do the Mixology Techniques work?

All creativity moves from the Specific (the subject of interest that is being analysed through creativity) to the General (the new creative ideas coming out the Mixology stage of creative thinking).

The Specific Idea is the material, concept, theory, understanding etc. that a creative work is analysing, and from which the creative work is intended to be built.

The following illustrations of Mixology Creative Techniques use the novella The Tailor as the source of these specific ideas.

The illustrated Mixology Ideas are used to generate general creative ideas that build on the described specific ideas.

Mixology Techniques tend to cascade: that is the general ideas generated from the use of a Mixology technique can be further enhanced by bringing the next mixology technique into play.

The greatest number and quality of ideas will be generated through pursuing several, consecutive Mixology techniques.

Cultivation techniques can then be employed to screen, organise and develop new ideas from Mixology, in such a way as to establish or extend a section of creative work.

Mixology Technique: Lateral Displacement

In Lateral Displacement a word or phrase is selected to establish a ‘starting point’. To this starting point a modifying (or displacing) word or phrase is added that describes or defines a direction of travel.

In Glanside, creative thought flows from the Specific to the General.

Lateral Displacement starts with a specific idea. The specific idea – embodying the direction, material, concept or theme that you wish to investigate or dissect – is then developed in possible alternative directions by the creation of general ideas derived from creative thinking.

The general ideas in Lateral Displacement are produced through the application of a starting point and a modifying word or phrase that defines a direction of creative travel.

The following are examples of Lateral Displacements used in the construction of The Tailor. Each Lateral Displacement consists of a description of the starting situation (the specific idea) and then a direction of travel the creative text will take (the general idea): –

  1. To shoulder, but not to stomach
  2. Seen, yet overlooked
  3. Transformation, out of alteration

The following passages were constructed on the foundations of the above Lateral Displacements : –

He spoke in a continuous unbroken drone, with few intervals between the sentences, sounding like a sewing machine fastening a hem in place. It was clear that, to him, this was just another difficult task on another difficult day. It was another difficult day of work and it must be endured.

Any investment is a leap of faith – but understand – it is a leap of faith insured by the impression, the gut feel. You put on a tailored suit with a hand-dyed tie, and you stand amongst twenty other people with tailored suits, their individuality, their distinction, expressed in just that tie. It is the same hammer that strikes in the same old way.

There was a moment’s pause whilst the Factory Manager looked up at the ceiling. There he found the material he needed, and started up again. ‘You can help me by increasing certainty. You can help me by stitching persuasion into presentation. You can help me by alteration, so that everything we wear radiates the message of confidence we need to transmit to this audience.

Mixology Technique: Metaphor, Simile, Analogy

The Metaphor, Simile, Analogy technique requires some preliminary explanation and definition.

  1. A metaphor is something
  2. A simile is like something
  3. An analogy explains how one thing being like another helps explain them both.

For example, in the following extract from Macbeth: –

‘That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of the dark.’

  1. The Metaphor being used is: The dark is a blanket
  2. The Simile being use is: The dark is like a blanket
  3. The Analogy being used is: The dark is like a blanket in that a blanket covers and conceals objects and the dark covers and conceals actions

The Metaphor, Simile, Analogy Creative Technique begins from the specific idea (the starting point for this section of the creative work) and uses Metaphors, Similes and Analogies to build a creative framework for the creative text or any other creative output.

The following illustrates how the Metaphor, Simile, Analogy technique has been used in the construction of The Tailor: –

Metaphor, Simile or Analogy: –

Anjali is the river in that she is an unstoppable force that changes unpredictably and uncontrollably.

Section of text constructed: –

Anjali you remind me of the river that flows beyond our factory wall. One day there is the calm sound of water flowing smoothly to the sea. The next moment we are rushing to get the expensive fabrics to the high floors in case that same river decides to flow right through our workshop, destroying everything it touches.


Metaphor, Simile or Analogy: –

Most stars like most people will leave only iron at the end of their lives. Only the largest and brightest of stars – like the brightest of people – have the ability to transform themselves into gold through their consummate energy: and they have a universal duty to do so.

Section of text constructed: –

Did you know that most stars in the universe just turn out iron towards the end of their lives? It is only the greatest stars that make more precious materials than iron. And only the very largest and brightest of the stars of the sky that will come to weave gold in the end. I know you will weave gold, Anjali.

Mixology Technique: Character Sketching

A character is effectively a lens through which actions, objectives and relationships with other characters are viewed.

The combination of these factors gives the character his/her individual perspective within the narrative, and of course determines the actions and reactions of a character.

Setting out different characters’ perspectives, at any point in a narrative, provides an excellent base for the creative development of a work.

This technique has the additional benefits of helping to create and flesh out characters – and also to develop the voice and characteristic dialogue of a character.

Character Sketching begins with a specific idea (i.e. a subject, concept, theme, direction, belief that is the focus of your work).

The Character Sketching technique is then used to add general ideas (i.e. diverse, different and disparate ideas derived from creative thinking) to this specific idea. The combination of the specific and the general will lead to a potential scenario (point-of-departure) for a creative work.

The following are examples of passages from The Tailor that were facilitated with the Character Sketching Creative Technique: –

Character: Anjali
Objective: Maintain control
Lens: Nothing has changed.


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, and bought herself some time by asking, ‘How did it go?’

‘I could feel that the messages were striking home,’ Anjali answered in a measured manner. ‘You know when the cut and colour and fearlessness of the design is there. One of the Directors around the meeting room table became quite irritated. It was as if he knew that the river was flowing on a new course, in a new direction, and he could do nothing to stop it. His arguments were soon swept away by the endorsements from the other Directors.’

Character: Panya
Objective: Maintain control
Lens: Fear of the consequence of change


Panya had regained her poise and was back on script. ‘You are being pulled out of shape by your ambition,’ she said deliberately but serenely. ‘There is no foundation to this work. It can take us nowhere. You have made our tailoring subversive. This obsession has corrupted you like a fungus. It is rotting away the base that we have worked too hard to fasten in place.’

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. ‘The role of the Tailor is to sew comfort into the world,’ she said with a rehearsed delivery. ‘If your fashion leads to this outcome of so much upheaval and conflict, what is the good of it?

Alteration and repair fit within the structure of this valley and the lives of the people who live here. The fabrication of your design can only be forged in a hot fire of change and destruction. The cost is too high for this little tailoring business to even consider.’

Mixology Technique: Redefinitions

The Redefinitions Technique involves the redefining of the listed elements of a creative section of work to produce new creative possibilities.

An outline of the section of creative work is first established by following the standard creative process of describing specific ideas, followed by the use of creative techniques to form the general ideas on this foundation of specific ideas.

Elements of this creative outline are now selected – and these elements are re-conceived, reimagined, rethought in order to provide further creative ideas with a view to generating a greater depth of creativity.

A dictionary or online thesaurus or word association program can help in this process.

A very simple example from The Tailor would be to list multiple redefinitions of the term Tailor.

A Tailor is: –

  • A person working in Fashion
  • A cutter of cloth.
  • A designer
  • An originator
  • An innovator
  • A business person
  • An aspiration
  • A sense of purpose

Each of these redefinitions of A Tailor now provides the starting point for a new direction that could be applied to a section of creative work.

The following is an example of passage from The Tailor facilitated using the Redefinitions Creative Technique: –


As Anjali grew, her desire for her own style of tailoring grew with her.  She wanted to fully-fashion garments, to perform the art of the couturier from the opening design to the final stitch.  This was the cut of her ambition.  It was a pleat of imagination and determination that ran right through her.