I got this trick via Jim Krusoe, who attributes it to Carol Emshwiller. (Thanks, Jim and Carol!)
Writers of fiction: Take the first and last words of a piece, then put them together. The idea is that the resulting phrase might somehow relate to the whole. Here are mine.
The Watery Girl: “Something emerging.”
The Eight Mile Suspended Carnival (which is rough and will surely change): “Mim hands.”
Both, weirdly, work.
9 thoughts on “The alpha and the omega”
Interesting exercise. I tried it with a short piece I wrote yesterday, which I now see is actually a scene for a novel I started recently, and as a scene, it works: You’re over.
Not quite so effective with my novels, though :-/
OOH, I love “You’re over”! That’s fabulous. Maybe a title…
Hmmm……tried two ms’s and got “It it” and “I’m then.”
Not sure if I like It it or not….! But I love little exercises like this.
“It it” has a strong grounding in popular music, following the band “The The” (I love that band!) Hmmm…
“Life Promise” for today’s piece of mine. Haha. This was a fantastic little bit of knowledge; fun, funny and perhaps even useful in the future. Thank you for sharing it.
s_s, that’s a pretty big one! Thanks for posting, and for stopping by!
The story I’ve been working on for months gives me “Given time.” I rather like it. It might even work as the title.
My novel Seven Cities of Gold comes out as “A thing.” Which I suppose could be true.
Nothing else I’ve checked works that nicely, though.
Nancy, I really like “Given Time” for a title!
I’ve been thinking about this game all day and how it’s such an interesting window into the world of a fiction. I need to go back and check some of my other things, too. I guess a writer could set out to make it work, in other words, do this intentionally, and maybe someone who likes puzzles would do. I just re-read the beginning of Lolita, just the opening, which is an amazing set of words, so of course the gamester Nabokov comes to mind. (I’ve barely begun reading his games, so I really can’t speak to the entire picture, but I bet this would be the simplest game he’d play.)
Another thought: why wouldn’t it work with an interesting piece of nonfiction?
Okay, had to post the above-mentioned Nabokov:
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.”
He slays me! Cheeky bastard.