Friday, October 17, 2008

Orchestrated Search #3: What's In Your Name?

This week's orchestrated search is simple. All you need to do is type your name (it can be just your first name, just your family name, or the whole shebang) into your favorite search engine, and then click SEARCH.

You might find someone on the other side of the world who shares your first name, or someone who has long left this world actually holds the key to your knowing your ancestry better, or your name is an anagram for someone else's name! In any case, look at your search results.

Now, pucker up some courage. You are going to write a letter.

If someone shares your name, you will need to write that person, whether living or dead, about yourself. Write a 500-word email that introduces yourself in whatever tone you please. You don't even have to send it; you just need to write that email.

Are you ready for the real exercise? You need to put yourself in that other person's shoes and write a REPLY to your own letter.

This is an exercise in sympathy and empathy - it's also an exercise in imagination. What would your namesake's culture be like, and how would it affect his or her reply? Is he or she a gentle or strong person? Does he or she even share your gender? You will need to take account of all of these aspects of writing and personality (and more) in your 1000-word reply.

Now get to writing!

Ah, and dear writer, don't forget to post your letters in the comments section, or at least links to them, so that you can share your craft with the world.

And yes, this does sound like you're drawing out another personality from deep within you - but isn't that exciting?

1 comment:

J Hugh Thomas said...

Rachel, thank you for linking to my blog

I enjoyed reading your blog and am linking to it in my blog resources. Good luck in your continued writing.