Monday, October 17, 2011

Some Notes for/on the Book of Names Project

Yes, I'm picking this one up, and will devote my nanowrimo month to it if I have to. No, I've never actually turned in anything at nanowrimo, but I do follow friends who do, and pretend (if I can) that I'm working with them.
1. I've been struggling to find a narrative arc for the project. But instead of narrative arc, maybe, repetition.

2. I hear that reader response to the excerpt published in PSF 6 has been good ("I like it even if I don't know why/what it means,"...that's good enough for me to continue!). The challenge being, will the reader still be compelled to finish a similar but longer version? The opacity of words is not the point of this project. But the opacity of something other is.)

3. The project actually began as a writing exercise with a few constraints:
a. There is a constraint imposed on the selection of names, as hinted at by the title
b. Entries must refer to the name's definition, history, or other popular associations thereof, (example: Erica, the winged love object of Richard in Daimos)
c. Entries under each name, as far as I can recall should be at least 500 words and shouldn't exceed 1000 words--the ideal length being 800 words (the length of a newspaper column).
d. The first five entries' specific constraint was that each of them had to deal, even if only tangentially, with a spec-fic style or trope of one sort or other. I'll probably keep to these constraints, or at least the first three.

4.  I know how to end it. Usually, when I do, things come together. I just need to find the time and stamina/concentration to write it out.

I did the math. It won't make the nanowrimo word-count (50,000)--at best it will be 26,000. But let's see what happens. At least I'll get this project out of my system and move on.  (Who knows? I might develop the stamina to continue, immediately after, the Ars Poetica project (excerpt published here and another excerpt in the Philippines Graphic (print) issue identified here).

Wish us luck. :)

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