Free Association

Posted in Making Magic on February 5, 2004

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

As regular readers of my column know, I like to experiment with my column. But the key to good writing is to make sure the means of telling matches the message you want to tell. I came up with the idea for a non-linear column over a month ago, but it took me several weeks to figure out what exactly I was going to do with it.

As I explained in the opening, I finally hit upon the idea of using the column as a way to show how a creative mind works. I've read a lot of books on creativity and all the good ones stress the same key points. Creativity is about freeing up how one thinks. A key skill then is the ability to allow yourself to find connections that others do not. A great exercise for this is to find a means to randomly select two objects. Perhaps thumbing through the yellow pages or a dictionary and choosing two subjects. Then figure out some way in which the two objects connect.

The key is this: There are connections between everything. The creative person is the one who can find the connections between the most unlikely of pairings. So, what does this have to do with today's column? Take a look at what topics are connected. You will find that you will read about things of very different styles, tones, and topics just one click away.

In addition, because I'm trying to give you all the sense of how we design an expansion, I've built in some uber-themes. The larger article actually is about something. Note how this is achieved as you read through the rest of the article. And hey, have fun!

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