Remember Eno and Schimdt's Oblique Strategies? Of course you do. A hundred cards, each with an enigmatic phrase on it, designed to provoke a little lateral thinking when you're looking for inspiration to clear a creative block.

Phrases like:

'Do the words need changing?'

'Use an unacceptable colour.'

'Do nothing for as long as possible.'

'Only one element of each kind.'

They even have an app these days!

They were originally designed for musicians; they can be of help to all creative types, though, particularly when a musically related prompt forces, say, a writer to think in a different way. How on earth does the prompt 'Spectrum Analysis' help me with a screenwriting plot problem? I don't know. Let's brainstorm it.

I've used them enough to find myself recognising almost all of them, now, and find I start to fall into similar patterns of inspiration when I see them.

I'd like a whole new set. Perhaps we can fill this thread with short, enigmatic aphorisms never before seen, a fresh cache of lateral thinking prompts to explore.

Perhaps we can even Hubski up an app?

But first, the prompts.

Go, Hubski, go.


"Describe it as if it is the opposite of what it is."

"Add an elephant."

posted by Complexity: 1571 days ago