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Chapter TWO. Crowd

Chapter TWO. Crowd

There is a counterintuitive feel to the writers' workshop. It is one of several group activities aimed at assisting what is normally thought of as an individual act—of craft, of art, of invention, of creation. Brainstorms, critiques, charrettes, pair programming, open-source software projects, even master classes.

Brainstorming is gathering people, and through specific processes that either focus or liberate, the group uses association and dissociation to come up with more ideas than a single person can. The group can be in more frames of mind at the same time than a single person can, and different people's interests and knowledge can be triggered by what others say and do in the brainstorming session. Games and idea-generating exercises involving both the mental and physical can assist such groups. Ideas are captured on whiteboards, blackboards, pieces and sheets and rolls of paper, the wall—anywhere so that there is plenty of material to trigger new ideas. Relationships are marked down, missing relationships are sought. The result is usually more ideas than the sum the group could come up with as individuals and then lumped together.


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