dorothystewartblog

about writing and life and God

The Book with No Name

on February 9, 2013

I may be making excuses. You see, I’m usually the leap without much looking type but I’m currently hesitating. It feels like standing tippy-toes on the edge of the high diving board. Only not so visibly exposed (except when friends ask what’s happening with the novel).

It is time to fish or cut bait. Time to commit and get on with it. I’ve been faffing about around the edges, doing timelines, thinking about biographies. I even spent an hour online on the 1851 Scotland Census the other day and had the cheek to call it work!

The book will not get written unless I write it. But… and this is the last fading cry of excuse… it would help enormously if I had even a working title for it. A hook to hang it on in my mind so it definitely has a place there. Without a title it feels as if it doesn’t properly exist.

God got Adam to name the animals. Names are how we start to know someone or something. And names help us when we want to call them up!

My book – the Work in Progress – does not have this kind of handle and I’m thinking maybe this is contributing to my difficulty in settling down to it and finishing it. It’s difficult to do your best with things with no handle.

Jug with no handle - before you decide this is what my crockery is like, I confess I bought it for 50p at a local charity shop and removed the handle with a hammer specially for this picture

Jug with no handle – before you decide this is what my crockery is like, I confess I bought it for 50p at a local charity shop and removed the handle with a hammer specially for this picture

I wonder what you think? How soon do you find a title for your book? In the past, I’ve tended to use the names of my two main protagonists as the working title, because it is basically their story. Often titles change when the book is finished. Editors and sales departments also have their own ideas – but by then, it’s a different problem.

When it’s embryonic, it needs a name so you can start to love it. Like a baby. I have heard of unfortunate infants referred to as Sprog for the whole nine months and then stuck with it ever after.

Where do you find titles? One of the ‘rules’ of writing fiction is that the title will jump out at you from the page. Somewhere there will be a line containing the perfect title. But that’s usually not till about two-thirds of the way through. So what do you meantime? Referring to it as ‘it’ is not loving!

I couldn’t bear to simply refer to it as Work-in-Progress Numero X, with the number next-in-line from all those that went before. (Come in Number 6. Oh sorry, number 9, are you having problems?)

Yes of course, this is a time-wasting sidetrack. But it’s Saturday so maybe I’m allowed. Tomorrow is church and no work. But come Monday morning I’d really like to resume work on… See, there it goes again. The book with no name! Help!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: