Wednesday, 16 December 2015

New novella update - thoughts on titles

You may have noticed something about this novella I'm writing. I've not mentioned its title in this blog, or n twitter, tumblr, Facebook or wherever else I may haunt. If you are thinking it is an oversight let me assure you it isn't.

The title is an important part of any story but out of the ones I have written so far it has not been as relevant to the story as it is here.

In No Man's Land, my previous novel, the name of the station was pretty much arbitrary. Okay maybe not arbitrary as I think it is a pretty good name for a space station and it fits the plot quite well but the story would have worked just as well if I'd invented a different name.

Likewise with the YA fantasy the Patternmaker's Daughter the title was relevant but not crucial. Patternmaker is an insult in the world the story takes place. But I could have probably come up with something jut as effective if I'd taken a bit longer to think about it.

I could go on through my other stories and come up with changes to the titles which wouldn't affect the story. Even Mr. Stinky, a story which evolved entirely out of the title, could have seen this change without much harm.

Before now I've even changed a story title after finishing it without harm. The first novel I write was one - a proto-novel really as it was my first attempt. I do not count it amongst my completed novels as I think it is so far from publishable as to make a near complete rewrite a definite requirement before any thoughts of submission enter my head. I view it as the project that proved to me I had it in me, discipline wise, to finish writing something of novel length. It was a horror story and took 100,000 words to tell. The plot's okay and some of the description was quite good but other than that - nah.

But the main reason for mentioning it is in regards the title. The book originally was titled after the lead character, a thoroughly dislikeable commodities broker (and before you say that's not narrowing it down I have in the past known a commodities  broker and he was a thoroughly pleasant fellow).

All well and good until I met someone with the name of the lead character, and hence book, and found I liked him. Worse still he even had some uncanny similarities with the characters - such as the car they both drove. So XXXXXXX's Death became Adam's Death. And the character was renamed. Before you ask I don't know any Adams - it was just the first two syllable male name that didn't sound horrible in front of the word death.

Anyway back to the current project. Am I going to announce its title. Well, I'm afraid I am not. It's too key to me to let it out just yet. If I finish it and the miracle of it being accepted for publication happens then I guess I will have to. But until then I am just going to refer to it as the weird novella or Ben Williamson 3 or something or other. I just hope it doesn't disappoint now after all this hype when you do find out what it is.

So, onto the progress report from BW3 (that's it. I'll call it that for now). I didn't have much of a writing head on today. I spent much of my day at work with a headache and it's left me rather drained and without much inspiration. So much so it took about an hour to write more than a single paragraph. But I persevered and managed to add a couple of scenes to the story that I didn't instantly delete after a quick re-read. They even progressed the plot a decent amount to - well, maybe completed the set up of the background of the story might be more accurate. Nothing has really happened yet.

Here are the stats for the night
2 scenes
1,190 words added tonight
3,740 words total

Or to put it another way, more than 10% done. Not bad for two nights, one of which was a mind reamer.

I've also been keeping up with the daily word count logging as started during NaNoWriMo. December so far has been a little disjointed with having a break from writing new fiction to hurriedly type up the revision notes into the YA Fantasy so I could send it in to the publisher and a day off after following No Man's Land. But despite that here's a progress report.

December (16 days)
Total words - 17,688
Daily Average - 1,104

Okay, it's not up to the 1,591 words I averaged through November but I'm happy with it. Hopefully I will be able to up the average a little this weekend as my wife is playing two gigs, neither of which I can attend so I will have a decent chunk of time to write.

Away from writing I found out tonight there is a new Jo Nesbo inspired/written (not sure) TV show coming to Sky Arts next month. More Nordic Noir - happy me.

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