Friday, May 18, 2012

On Epigraphs

Lepus is essentially complete, or at least ready to be sent out for its first test in the real world with unsuspecting minds. I'm eager (and a little nervous) to see how it's received, since, like most of my stories, it's kind of an odd little duck. Not to mention that this is the very first feeler of the massive 'Tomiverse' to be reached out into the world at large. Success means that more will follow. Failure...well, I'm not really sure what will happen in the event of failure, to be honest.

The only thing that's really left to do is to finish adding the epigraphs. See, I've decided that every book, chapter, and short-story that I write will be preceded by a short quotation, and right now I'm struggling to find the right ones for the two chapters of Lepus that still lack them.

I really enjoy the process of collecting epigraphs. In the first place it gives me an incentive to read more classic literature (I've read two new Shakespeare plays over the past couple weeks) and collect tons and tons of quotations. Also, I love the symbolism, the play of subtlties involved in finding just the right quotation for each chapter. I try to pick quotes that don't just allude to what will happen, but which actually lend deeper meaning to the events, or foreshadow future developments, or hint at an unexpected interpretation. When I find the perfect quote, it's like finding the right piece of a jiggsaw puzzle or the solution to some brain-teaser: a combination of delight at my own cleverness and gratitude that such a quote exists and fits my story so well.

Though it's not just classic literature: I've made it a rule that nothing is out-of-bounds or unworthy to be a source for a quote, only provided that it fits. In Lepus, for instance, I've got quotes from Confucius, Dante, Iron Man, I Was a Teenage Werewolf (seriously) and, of course, Watership Down among others. I'm going by the same rule that applies to "Catholicity of Taste:" whatever tells the truth and tells it well is acceptable.

The delay has also given me a chance to make some last minute edits and adjustments before sending it out. I'm hoping to settle on the final two quotes this weekend and send it out for critiquing either Sunday or Monday. Exciting!

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