Writer’s Block – How lean manufacturing tools can improve your creative writing?
There are different ways to get around writer’s block. I don’t believe any one way is better than any other, whatever works IS the best way. Pulling on skills from another area in my life I began to see that there are ways to use them for creative writing. I talked about RCCA in another article, how Root Cause Corrective Analysis can help improve your writing by helping you get to the base of a problem. Whether you have read the article or not we can use another lean manufacturing tool to organize this RCCA information.
Some of you may have seen this before, I can remember this tool being originally taught to me in grade school. It is used in manufacturing to aid in process improvements. It’s called the “Fishbone Diagram” and looks like this.
This diagram is also known as the “Ishikawa Diagram” or “cause and effect”. We can thank Kaoru Ishikawa for its creation. It works great for organizing ideas or information. The large blue box is the head or mouth, the lines are the bones of the fish. Place the main idea or problem at the head. Decide on and place categories or topics in the smaller boxes. Fill in the “bones” with the details. Yes, it is that simple. Let’s add some information to the diagram.
After adding some information we can begin to see how things take shape. While its not the best picture right now we can fine tune it further. You may not use all the categories at this time so don’t worry if you don’t fill in all the spaces.
Let’ take it a step further by combining RCCA into the fishbone. This allows you to chase a problem or event to its root and keep all the information orderly. How can this improve your creative writing or help you with writer’s block? Allow me to demonstrate this using the example from this Article.
Here we have the fishbone filled out with some details from the example idea and the beginning of the story. Using RCCA “Why did the space station explode?” Structural failure of the station. Next, “Why did the structure fail?” We continue to apply this method until we have the root of the problem. We apply the organizational power of the fishbone to track all the information. Once there is a sufficiency of details, you can to piece together the story in which ever manner you like. Start at the beginning and work your way logically through to the end. You can begin at the end and tell the story from the viewpoint of the survivors, and still you can start somewhere in between and filter in the details until the grand explosion.
By now, you can see the advantages of using this methodology and how to apply it to creative writing. Taking into consideration that these ideas are typically used in lean manufacturing it makes one wonder what other ideas may be gleaned from other areas of life and adapted to crafty story telling.
If you this helped you at all take a moment to comment. Feel free to look at this Article for a better understanding of the RCCA methodology as used for creative writing. Happy writing and have fun.