Limits intrigue me. The idea that installing parameters into one's creative method, intentionally, to get richer or more compelling results is something that captivated me while creating this book. Put differently, I was working with the hypothesis that writing under limits would yield more in terms of what I was able to create.
But what do I mean when I keep using the word "limit"? I am talking about word limits. "The Year of Oceans" constitutes one year in Hugo's life. Each chapter is a month. Each month is divided into sections, which are numbered and may be mistaken for chapters by some. Deciding I wanted to try and place a firm limit on things, and that I wanted to simulate the passage of time as one reads through a year, I came up with a number, a word count for all the months, and the subdivided sections had to equal or get pretty darn close to that number. If "March" had three sections, together, they had to approximate that number. If July only had one section, then it, too, needed to get close to that number. This led to all the months, more or less, being the same length.
Rather than perceive such a strict framework to be constricting to my creativity, I found it to be liberating. Many of the sections and plot lines were written quite quickly, and I was very pleased with the results. Moral of the story: creating within limits can be a good thing indeed!