It's really just the literary version of Traveling Salesman Problem.

Welcome, you and me, to the Visible Cities Project. My goal with this project is to write a short story or vignette for every city described in Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. These descriptions are mostly one or two pages and the stories will not be much longer than that. Sometimes the connections will be obvious, but other times, the association will be much freer. In place of the interludes of Invisible Cities between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, I will write about things I've learned and future plans. I hope to write one entry every day or so, but in practice, I am a slow and easily discouraged and distracted writer. I also will never write more than one entry in any given day. Note that at the start I have not read Invisible Cities beyond the first few pages, but have read several other Calvino books.

The primary purpose of this project is to encourage me to write more, in particular, to practice narrative voice, description, and characterization techniques. I am untrained as a writer - my background, that is, my undergraduate majors, were Computer Science and Psychology, but since the middle of high school, I have been enamored of telling stories. Unfortunately, I tend to do this much less often than I like and tend not to make it very far when I do. My hope is that using Invisible Cities in this way will give me something to focus around and the short form will keep me from giving up too easily while honing some of my skills. Also, I think it will be a good way to explore a book which is really meant to be read and pondered one segment at a time.


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