Although the feedback from my book, Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, has been wonderful (apparently everyone has liked it, thus far!), there has been one over-riding question: “Just who’s who? Where are all the names?!”
Folded Dreams – the Beginning hasn’t been the only one; although most are yet uncirculated, I’ve written a number of stories in this style of ‘No Names’. Along with The Child in “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, I also have a story about Old Man and Old Woman (©1996-2016) who, for the first half of the book are just that, and in the “Mama Always Said…” series (©1986-2016), only those parental terms of endearment are used. There are a few more, but you get the picture.
With Folded Dreams, following up with a novel was obvious, at least after listening to comments and reading reviews. In the novel, everyone in the first book is identified, and the reason for referring to the child in the first book as “The Child,” is also explained…but you have to pay attention or you’ll miss it!
But why did I do it at all? Well, to be honest, I had thought to add names afterward, but after my English Literature professor initially critiqued’ it, she suggested leaving them out.
Understand, Folded Dreams started out as a college assignment, in competition with all class members, as well as with the professor herself. I was quite surprised and humbled when Folded Dreams won, hands down; this was also the first time I had ever had my work scrutinized.
The biggest issue discussed was the lack of names…and not that I should have included them, but why I should not edit them in when I eventually turned it into a book, which they assured me I ought!
The consensus was that “no names” added to the ‘mystery’ of the story.
In a way, these were my thoughts also. A named person has a personality…sometimes a particular one that is inferred by the reader himself (because “I used to know a Stephanie…she was an imbecile!”). In this assignment, by leaving off the names, the only personalities are those which were hinted at…there was less distraction from the story I was telling.
But at the same time, it was disconcerting just not knowing! I wanted shivers and little trills of fear. Fear of the unknown is the stuff of monsters in the closet and under the bed and what’s in the dark.
That tiny niggle of, “something’s not quite right”, even a totally benign ‘something’ like not having a name to call her, can turn the little trills into delicious shivers!
Besides, if you “got” the plot twist, a six month old child may recognize the relationship between words and actions, but understanding concepts, like names, doesn’t come until later!
So, where are all the names? In “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, they’re in the future.
Or the past.
Or maybe they didn’t exist at all!