Ever tried googling “the scientific method”? You get over 12 million hits including Wikipedia pages, articles, definitions, images, beginner’s guides and introductions.
If you google “the creative method,” on the other hand, you get less than 100,000 hits; that’s 8% of the pages dedicated to the scientific method. (Many are dedicated to - note the caps - The Creative Method, a Sydney-based design agency.)
Why the difference? The characteristics of the scientific method have been established for nearly 500 years. You have a hypothesis which generates logical predictions. You then test these, gathering evidence. The experiment must be replicable and peer-approved. You arrive at a greater understanding having deconstructed something.
But the creative method is about construction, not deconstruction. Moving from having nothing, to having something you have conceived of, crafted and built. And the trouble is, when it comes to method, every creative seems to be doing something different. Some writers aren’t sure where their ideas have come from, or how they arrived where they did. Some ascribe spiritual significance to them. Others claim to ‘hear voices’; some explain that all we have to do is ‘listen to the characters telling us their stories’. Not everyone has the same level of awareness.
Case in point: one of my favourite film-score composers is Thomas Newman. But can Thomas Newman give us a cogent and replicable insight into how his creative process works? Hmm. I very much enjoyed this interview. He's a charming, honest and up-front bloke. I'm just not sure I got a strong sense of - y'know - how the magic works.