9 February 2010

The Encyclopaedia of Lies: Blog 1

It's been in the planning stage for over five years. Work has been done on and off fairly sporadically. My personal interest in the project has from time to time flagged to the point where I've almost forgotten that it exists. Yet every time I mention it to someone or dig it out just to see how far along it actually got, I always end up with tears in my eyes laughing at the content. Some of you have no doubt had some of it read to you, others may have heard myself or my collaborator Graeme talking about it. Well today I decided to put my foot down and begin work in earnest on this project and continue to do so until it is completed. I'm telling you this now because I should imagine that a great many posts from now on will be on this subject. So come with me now on a journey of discovery and toil… or something.

I'd like to officially introduce you to The Encyclopaedia of Lies. It started out as a running gag and then turned into a competitive surrealist sparing match. It is (or will be once it's finished) a book. It's format (as you might guess) is that of an encyclopedia, but with the obvious difference that nothing in it is true. Actually there will be one true entry in the book for reasons I will reveal at a later date (once it is closer to completion).

So far I have yet to find a person who does not end up laughing their ass off after reading even just a small portion of the work in progress document, so I am fairly confident that it is a saleable concept. The intention is to find a publisher willing to put it out in an appropriate format as one of those Christmas stocking filler type comedy books. However the plan is not to actually take it to any publishers until it is (in my eyes) complete. This is for two reasons. Firstly I'm currently holding down a full time contract designing computer games and if the publisher starts changing the way I work on the book during its development, that could theoretically interfere with my daily routine and work. Secondly I hope that I am critical enough myself, to get the whole thing into a reasonably publishable form before I show it to anyone, which will with any luck reduce any editing time needed to finish it off.

The book itself has already changed format many times over the years. It's been stored as a remote and a local database, a remote and local word document, a spreadsheet and even an online repository. Now however I think I've finally got it into a format that is both convenient and secure and a format that will (hopefully) prove to be suitable until the whole project is completed.

Currently the EOL has 151 entries, by the time it is finished I hope to have expanded that to around 400. As it stands every letter of the alphabet has at least 3 entries associated with it (most with more), but in the end I hope to have a minimum of 10 per letter and in general once again more.

There is one part of the project that has not yet been started at all, the illustration. In fact I am not even 100% sure if I want the book to be illustrated at all. I suspect that this decision will be down to any prospective publishers who may be interested in putting The Encyclopaedia of Lies out there. If however in time I do decided that there should be at least some illustrations, then I dearly hope to be able to employ the talents of one of the many great artists I already know, rather that leave it up to a complete stranger.

To be honest, as this is my first endeavor of this nature I have no idea what the hell I'm doing but we shall live and learn I guess.

Keep reading.