What I enjoy the most about fiction books (aka novels) is the part in the beginning where the story hasn’t started yet. The reader is unsure at this point of the ultimate trajectory the story will take.
When I attended the CODEX Hack-a-thon at MIT the weekend of February 11/12, one of the first things we did was write out a name tag with our name and the title of a favorite book. My chosen book was the last one I had read — Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
Gyasi’s book is an amazing work of fiction spanning centuries and following the progeny of a family divided geographically by the slave trade. Two sisters are at the heart of the novel and each chapter checks in with the next generation — thus positioning the reader always in a state of unknowing what the next story will be — thus avoiding a stale plot.
In the book each chapter is a new occasion for reader and author to explore new possibilities and ideas. The beginning of the CODEX Hack-a-thon had a similar feeling — there was time to meet new people, brainstorm questions and problems, but soon it was clear that one must pick a project, pick a group, and commit to that plot, that story, for the next 24 hours.
Before attending the hack-a-thon I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’m not a coder, I wasn’t sure what skills I was bringing to the table. I thought being armed with ideas was my best strategy for being helpful. I brainstormed with colleagues, creating a list of projects that might be
Source: Greta Suiter