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Scaffolding is a means of controlling the development of a section of a creative work, or a creative work in its entirety in the case of a shorter text.

In the Scaffolding, creative possibilities are generated through applying a prescribed series of creative techniques to the opening specific ideas (i.e. the defined creative requirements).

ball bullet How does Scaffolding work?

The Scaffolding Technique comprises of the following six steps:

  1. The objectives and scope of the section of creative work are described in the specific ideas.
  2. The Lens Illumination Technique is first used to develop a clearer understanding of the creative requirement. Inevitably, some detailed possibilities for the creative work will be generated at the same time.
  3. Other Mixology creative techniques are now applied, these leading to the generation of a range of basic ideas.
  4. The Facets Technique is now applied. The Facets technique identifies diverse elements of the creative work (narrative), and lists attributes associated with each of these diverse elements.
  5. The application of other Cultivation techniques at this point will assist the fleshing out of the basic ideas.
  6. Material Fusion can also be used to apply more sweep and depth to the identified basic ideas.
  7. The output of these procedures (i.e. steps 1 to 5 above) is a series of points-of-departure. Points-of-Departure are phrases (or ideas expressed in any other media) which capture an idea that can be further developed into a section of creative text.

ball bullet Illustration: Scaffolding

The specific ideas in Chapter 14 of The Tailor can be described as follows:

  1. Anjali is attempting to remove Panya as an assistant in her business.
  2. Anjali’s uncle believes that Panya’s nature and skills are essential to the business's future.
  3. Anjali will never accept this, but her uncle attempts to convince her nevertheless.

ball bullet The Lens Illumination Technique.

The Lens consist of questions that, in the same way as light through a lens, bends creative thinking in a new direction.
The Illumination is the creative response to the identified questions.

Lens Questions:

  1. How does Anjali’s uncle attempt to deflect her appeal to him?
  2. How does this section capture the soul and theme of tailoring?
  3. How does Anjali’s uncle reconcile the love for his niece with his resistance to removing Panya from the tailoring business?

ball bullet Mixology & Cultivation Techniques.

Creative Techniques are harnessed to develop responses to the above questions:

  1. The Metaphors Technique: e.g. Every person is the tailor of their own future.
  2. The Lateral Displacement Technique: e.g. Backing, but not supporting.
  3. The Chains Technique: e.g. A stepping stone the river of time - a path through to a fitting future.

ball bullet The Facets Technique.

The Facets Technique lists attributes associated with identified elements of the narrative.

Attributes associated with Anjali’s Uncle’s strategy to convince Anjali could be:

  1. Complain that Anjali is forcing him to make a decision.
  2. Highlight Panya’s material capabilities.
  3. Present keeping Panya in place as a means of supporting Anjali.
  4. Divert Anjali’s attention away from the root of the conflict.

The following passages (points-of-departure) were constructed from the above Scaffolding Technique summaries:

Her uncle unfastened the pincushion that was still strapped to his arm, laid his glasses on the desk, and looked straight at Anjali.

‘Panya thinks that working with clients such as the Factory Manager will cause the very foundations of Threads to be washed away.’

‘I think she is right,’ he said as definitively as a cross-stitch.  ‘You force me to make a choice.  I think Panya is right.’

‘Panya is a good worker,’ he said.  ‘She will keep that business going.  Panya is the perfect alteration and repair Tailor.  She has an appetite for making bad things good and meagre things better.’

He paused; and then his voice turned suddenly as warm as masala chai.

‘I knew we would arrive here someday.  As soon as I first saw you working with damask.  Repairs and alterations to garments; that was just a stepping stone for you, Anjali.  The only reason that you ever collected those old and traditional garments was that they were pathways.  You could see in them the pattern that would guide you to a different future in a different valley.  I honour you for that Anjali.

‘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.  But such a bright star should burn in a better valley than this.