I have not been blogging lately. You may have noticed. Instead, I have been deep inside deadline-land, trying to finish the new novel by August 1. Anyone following my picometer (to the right - just a bit of fun really) will see that although the word count is inching up, the percentage of novel completed is not. That is because for every 3000 words I write, I realise that the novel in fact needs to be 3000 longer than what I originally thought. It like one of those sci-fi or horror movies where the heroine is walking down a corridor and the corridor just keeps expanding.
One thing I have been thinking about, of necessity, is the title for the novel. I thought I had it all sorted, with two title options, both of which I liked, but one I liked slightly less due to its construction being The (something) of (something). One of my friends from my very scientific Facebook poll suggested that "Either's a good title [The Sound of Butterflies and the Something of Something]; together they look like an attempted branding exercise." Well, that was what I had been afraid of all along, despite this title's absolutely perfect capturing of theme and motif.
The other title, secretly my favourite, has had a mixed reaction. It seems it is too similar to a famous book written in the 1960s - do I really want people to think of that book? Well, actualy, it wouldn't hurt if they did, but it may set up expectations about the plot and deliver too neatly to those expectations. Need a bit more mystery in there. My version of the title has also been done before, and quite recently, albeit for a trashy thriller a million miles from the literary masterpiece I am constructing. But, like, it's been a bestseller, so a lot of people have at least heard of it. The final nail in the coffin is that some people think it's just plain boring - but it makes so much sense when the book is read, and brings the two threads of the story together in perfect harmony. Sigh.
So it's back to the drawing board. Everything I come up with just doesn't make me fall in love. It's a stock phrase, or it's been done before, or it looks good on paper but when you say it out loud it is clumsy. And the worst thing is that it's distracting me from the important task at hand - writing the book. I'm hoping that as I type the last word the perfect title will just slide into my head. Unfortunately I need it before then.
Elmore Leonard's Rules for Writers
8 hours ago