Thursday, December 30, 2010

Space Available: Parameters.

I figure it would behoove me, as I set on the creation of Space Available, to lay some ground rules, some parameters as I embark on this experiment. Just a little something to make the challenge more challenging and to make sure I stick to my vision. It's always a good idea, when writing, to place some accountability out there, to let others know what you're doing, how you plan on doing it, and when you plan on having it done. Trust me, writers: this is to your advantage. It's far too easy just to waste time when you sit down to write, deceiving yourself into thinking you're using your time well ("I really SHOULD check my Facebook homepage again, even though I just checked it two minutes ago; what if someone made a status update I can use in my book?!"). Having some accountability keeps you honest.

Okay, so the rules. There aren't many, but here's what I have so far:

Writing. Writing must be done using only the Twitter interface. Writing it beforehand in Microsoft Word or any other program, and then copying and pasting it into Twitter is cheating and counter to the whole experiment. I'm not using Twitter to transmit my novel; I'm using it to create it.

Format. Since I'm writing it specifically in Twitter, I'm going to attempt to incorporate the methodology of Twitter into the story. I don't know exactly yet how this will happen, but it's a goal and something I want to let you all know about ahead of time so I don't get cold feet and bail on this particular challenge.

The Account Itself. Starting January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2011, my Twitter account of @AdamAuthor will be used exclusively and solely for writing Space Available. In other words, I will not coexist on Twitter with my book. I will not respond to "at" tweets and I will not retweet anything. If you want to communicate with me, you can do it the old-fashioned way: through Facebook or by sending an email to adampalmer 75 [at] gmail (dot) com.

Perspective. The reader must remain in the main character's head at all times. In other words, no switching around through multiple characters' points of view. I did this already in Knuckle Sandwich, and it was a conscious choice. In one respect it's limiting, in that it takes away the omniscience many authors enjoy, but on the other hand, it gives a concrete platform to work from. Also, on a completely practical level, I'm going to write it in first-person, a first for me. Why first-person? Because I have so few letters in each tweet, I don't want to waste any of them by constantly typing my main character's name over and over when I can just type "I."

Editing. For the time being, what's there is what's there. Obviously, I can't go back and edit previous tweets, but I'm also not going to go back and edit by selectively deleting any previous tweets either. For better or for worse, the book, in 2011, will be what I tweet as I tweet it. Now, when it comes time to go to press, I'm 100% certain my publisher will want to edit it (and I'm also certain it will need it), which makes it all the more important for you to follow along in 2011. The published version will differ, I'm sure, from the tweeted version. And besides, you only live once, right?

Blogging. I intend to write a semi-weekly-or-so post here on Dregs explaining some of my thoughts as I continue on with Space Available, just to keep track of my headspace throughout the year, and hopefully answer any questions you may have. You're welcome to ask those via the comments section here or by shooting me an email at adampalmer75 [at] gmail [dot] com. Hopefully these posts will be insightful as to the writing process and stuff like that. Maybe not.

Well, that's all I can think of rules-wise for now. It's going to be a grand experiment, for sure, and I'm humbled that so many of you are heading down this road with me. As I told someone else, I'm equal parts pants-wetting excited and pants-soiling frightened. And I think that's a good thing.

See you in 2011. I should probably think of a first sentence now.

No comments: