Sunday, September 2nd, 2007
I’m really bummed about my inability to make it to Hypertext 07. Manchester looks gand in September. Fortunately, my novel, The Life of Geronimo Sandoval, was able to make it in my stead, and I want to thank Jamie, Mark and others for its safe travel.
My first regret is that I can’t perform TLGS. My second is having not written and designed the work on a Mac. Unfortunately, it was built in Windows over the last five years and would take some effort to rebuild in the Mac version of Storyspace. However, I will soon be embarking on this, relocating images into my MBP. I made the switch to the Mac this summer and am only now beginning to realize how important it will be to provide two versions of the novel or, even better, to allow for new ideas to develop because of this other method of revising.
TLGS tested all my powers in spelling, semantics, organization, and rewriting. It takes time to understand that in Storyspace, editing is a non-linear process, where linking can take the place of idea moving. In Storyspace, the writer doesn’t move a paragraph, though this is possible to do, he or she simply relates it to something else via a link. In the flow of story development a link may proceed from the shape of a cloud, or a returning mood in memory, thus motioning the reader down a path based on image not necessarily by plot. This means one must unlearn the remediated spaces of the typewriter, on which I wrote my first novel back in 1986, and the word processor. I found editing in Storyspace a deep, rethinking process, one that is almost impossible to share or explain. In TLGS, there are many areas of the text the reader will never see because they are simply bypassed. They are a sort of idea-based archaeology, bits of broken pottery that over time, I found no use for in the paths of the novel, such as a stretch of action that appeared at one time to supply the answer to a quandary, but that become too burdensome to keep in the possible flow. Likewise, the end of the novel may prove another beginning or yet another plot point if I was successful at making things interesting enough to explore.
In hypertext, the novel can form a cluster of lives that, much like Heroes, can spin off into an ever expanding universe of possibility. One link could provoke an infinite cluster of new spaces and times: Jackie meets Ron. Ron remembers his grandmother. A new story begins at the next link 1,000 years in the future with Grandma’s extended relation Jose, secluded on some rock being towed toward another sun. For the writer, hypertext can contain bubble worlds.
I honestly cannot say whether The Life of Geronimo Sandoval is a decent work. But writing it was something I’ll never forget. One image by the Rio Grande started it all off. That image also ended my progress into it.