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    what i've been doing II

    Those of you who have looked at this blog more than a couple of times know that I'm fond of complicated organizational schemes, so it won't surprise you to learn that this new piece of fiction I'm working on (outlined a bit in Thursday's post) deals with dozens of characters, multiple parallel narratives, flashbacks within flashbacks, that sort of thing. You also probably won't be surprised, given my weak spot for information visualization, to find out that I've started mapping out the book-in-progress in an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of its convolutions as I write.

    Here's a screenshot of the first six chapters, with characters A-G showing:

    This spreadsheet owes a debt to the geek-information-art of Danielle Aubert, particularly her inspirational 58 Days of Drawing Exercises in Microsoft Excel.


    Sunday, May 21, 2006
    10:22 AM


    Is this visualization part of the actual book?
    No, it is only for my own reference. I do plan for the book to contain an index should it make it to press ever, but this structure (as you see it here) will be experienced by the reader as a narrative rather than as a chart.
    suddenly it's a lot harder to be intrigued by the deliberately "cryptic" approach taken by your band.
    I'm trying to figure out where your disappointment comes from: it seems to hinge on that word "deliberately." Did my comment in the last post that I wanted the song titles to sound "appropriately cryptic" seem too calculated to you?

    It was supposed to be sort of a joke, a way to acknolwedge a hint of pretension in the names we choose.
    But I think we come by it honestly: I want the song titles to sound "cryptic" because the process of making the music is cryptic: I don't know what the fuck I'm doing half the time and when I go back and listen to the tracks that are going to be released I can't always figure out how we made the sounds or who is doing what. We pick the song titles that speak most directly to that experience and to the feelings that we felt and the images that we visualized during it. I think the process, for most bands, is similar.
    Ah, Danielle work is so great. Do you know her? Tho I've never thought of it as "geek-information-art" since she's one of the least geeky folks I know. Interesting to think of the bureaucratic form of excel transformed into/as a mode of organization/structure for experimental writing--what limits/possibilities it affords. Interesting.
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