Tag Archives: Working title

What’s in a name?

Title page from the first edition of Jane Aust...

Title page from the first edition of Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

First of all, my apologies for not posting last Monday. It was the end of a long weekend – away, no  less – and I spent most of the morning throwing up. As such, social media and networking was, unfortunately, not really on my radar. Sigh. Anyway, I’m back now and hopefully won’t be having any more days of being AWOL. :(

Today I want to talk about one of the banes of my existence – titles.

I am rubbish at titles. I don’t shy from that fact. Every story I’ve ever written has either had between six and ten titles, or landed the first one I thought of (and hated from that moment onwards). My working titles are as changeable as the weather, and perhaps as reliable too. So I am in absolute awe of anyone who can seemingly pick a brilliant title out of thin air and stick with it, because as you can appreciate it’s not something I’ve ever achieved.

Some of the best stories in literature have amazing titles. Jane Austen, for example, is someone who was incredible at titling her works; the Bronte sisters likewise seemed to have a talent for it. More recently people like Jodi Picoult or Neil Gaiman have impressed me, among others. Or, really, just about anyone who has a book out there – chances are, if it’s published (via a publishing house or by yourself), then it’s got a better title than I could come up with.

Now, I know there are tricks to it. Some people use song titles or lyrics, or variations thereof. Some use lines from well known literature, such as the quote that comprises my title today. Some can just grab a phrase from the book itself that really lends itself to that purpose, like Lee Fullbright did with The Angry Woman Suite, which I reviewed on Friday. But the thing is, when it comes down to it, I can just never seem to get it right. Am I too fussy? Perhaps. Maybe I’m just a perfectionist. But it’s something I wish I could do. Because let’s face it, people judge books on their titles. Without a snappy title, many otherwise excellent books just get put aside or ignored for their flashier rivals. And without an edge to get people to check out my work in the crowded marketplace, what chance do I have?

So here I am, asking for advice. How do you choose your titles? Are you enough of a masochist to title your chapters as well as your books, or do you leave it at the main heading and just number any segments? What tricks or ideas do you use? Because really, I’m getting a bit sick of changing my working titles over and over again until I find something that I don’t necessarily like, but just hate less than the last one. To be honest, I have quite enough on my plate just at the moment, so if I can get the hang of titling, then that’s one less thing I have to think about.

14 Comments

Filed under writing

Being fair

Too much communications ?!?!

Too much communications ?!?! (Photo credit: occhiovivo)

 

Today I’m posing a question that I’d like people’s thoughts on: Can you work on two projects at once and be fair to both of them?

I’ve always been a one-story-at-a-time kind of girl. I have never been able to devote enough attention to two different projects at once and do them both justice. One will be going fine, but the other will be neglected (and in all likelihood complain about it loudly). I’m also the sort who insists on finishing one story before starting on the next one, because otherwise I’d have a whole stable of unfinished tales out there. Now, JRR Tolkein I am not, so having a collection like that doesn’t really inspire me.

What I’ve been doing this year is working on novel #2, which has a working title of Caffeinated. (This will probably change a number of times during the writing process, but I quite like having working titles even if they do swap around every other week. It beats the situation I found myself in a few years back when I was ready to post a novel online and discovered I didn’t have a title, so I just called it the first thing that came into my head. I didn’t like what I came up with then and I like it even less now, but it seems to have caught on so I am loathe to change it.) I gave myself permission to start work on Caffeinated because novel #1 had a completed first draft. That, and I only came up with the premise just before Christmas and it was all new and exciting in my mind.

Trouble is, I’m falling into old habits. I had set aside this year to edit my first novel, the one whose first draft I completed in November. But I’ve been working on novel #2, and as such novel #1 has fallen by the wayside. I haven’t even opened it this year, let alone started editing. And while I told myself it was becuase I was waiting for a book I’d ordered about structure to arrive from the UK, it arrived last week and I still haven’t done anything about it. Yep, I’m finding myself unable to work on two different projects at once again.

I’m a little torn as to what to do about this. Should I quash my instincts and make a concerted effort to work on both at once? Or should I make a deal with myself, alternating with one story one week (or month) and the other story the next? Or should I work really hard to get a draft for novel #2 done by, say, August, and then edit novel #1 after a good nine months’ break?

What works for you?

16 Comments

Filed under writing

The next big thing?

next big thing

I’ve been tagged! The lovely Jeanette Hornby (www.jeanettehornby.com.au) has nominated me to be part of the Next Big Thing blog hop. Thanks Jeanette! And I thoroughly recommend that you all go and check out her blog at http://jeanettehornbybooks.blogspot.com.au - but be warned, it contains adult content so if you’re not comfortable with that then maybe just look at the main website.

The rules are these: Answer ten questions about your WIP and then tag five other bloggers to do the same. *wipes brow* Right. Here goes!

  1. What is the working title of your book?
    You know, this is a harder question than it should be. I was working with Echoes of Venice for a long time, but it sounds a lot more syrupy than the book actually is. Something to do with Venice, I’ll say that much. That city has an important role in the story.
  2. Where did the idea come from for your book?
    A competition I saw advertised in a newspaper, which for some reason just put a scene in my head. I tweaked the circumstances a little and voila! A story came out.
  3. What genre does it fall under?
    Contemporary romance / chick lit. To be honest, I will probably give it a final placement within one of those when I’ve done the final editing and not before.
  4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
    In my mind I’ve been using Brad Pitt and Kate Winslet. My thing, though, is not to describe my characters too much so that the reader can draw their own pictures in their heads of them. After all, everyone has a different idea of what makes someone attractive.
  5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
    Now you’ve got me. Again, this was something I was going to work on more during the editing process. How about, two people who have vowed never to see each other again are thrown together by circumstance and must deal with what that means to their lives.
  6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
    I won’t lie, I’d like an agent. However, I’m open to whatever life throws at me. In other words, I’ll play that one by ear.
  7. How long did it take to write the first draft of your book?
    Too long! Over two years. In my defence, I did scrap most of what I’d written half way through and restructure the whole thing. But yeah, just over two years. Sigh.
  8. What other books would you compare your story to within this genre?
    Another good question. Maybe something like Jill Mansell‘s Sheer Mischief, if I have to name one. (Serves me right for doing this on a Monday morning when my brain is still in weekend mode.)
  9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
    Like I said, I saw an ad in the newspaper and it just got my mind whirring. I was, I think, just ready for a new challenge and this fit the bill perfectly.
  10. What else about the book might piqué the reader’s interest?
    Snappy one-liners and endless suspense! Okay, maybe not the endless suspense, but at least a bit of it, and enough confusion and frustration to last anyone a lifetime. This is a book that I wanted to read, but I couldn’t find it out there, so I wrote it instead. I just hope that other people want to read it as well. :)

 

Bloggers I’m tagging to be the Next Big Thing themselves:

Margaret Lynette Sharp
Adam Collings
Rebecca Berto (Novel Girl)
Wordsurfer
Tracey Baptiste

Please go and check out all their blogs because they are definitely worth reading. And who knows – they really could be the Next Big Thing. They certainly deserve to be. :)

 

 

7 Comments

Filed under blog hop