Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Book with No Name

Titles are really hard. It's bad enough coming up with the thousands of words that constitutes the story without then having to encapsulate the whole thing in one short phrase. I quite like those books with titles that bear no obvious relevance to the story until you stumble across them in the body of the text. They make you stop short and think about exactly what the author was trying to get at when they selected that particular group of words as the moniker for the entire work. Often I can't see the relevance at all and I wonder if they just picked some words at random. Or worse, the publisher did.

Anyway, it's been a couple of months since I last updated you on my latest novel's progress. In that time, it has almost doubled in size and now stands at a healthy 63,367 words. We have plot twists that I didn't expect, characters who have turned out to be not quite as I imagined them and a whole new person who wasn't in the plan at all. But basically, I am still following my protagonist along the journey that I pre-ordained for her last Spring.

But I have no title. I have tried. I really have but every time I allow my mind to wander off in search of possibilities, we end up back at the plot. I've been searching for those pithy one-worders but their hiding places are way too clever for me. I've thought about hinting at the novel's contents but I don't want to give anything away. I've even tried plays on words and puns but really....?

So my two thirds of the way through first draft still has no name. It makes me feel inadequate, as if I don't love my 'baby' enough to call it something other than 'Blob'! And logistically it's a nightmare as what do I call all those folders in my ever-growing word processing package.

Maybe I should break out and just pick something that has nothing to do with the plot or the characters - like Frogspawn or Catherine Wheel? It doesn't really matter what it is. I just need something.

Apart from anything else, people keep asking.

'And what is it called, this book of yours?' they say.
'Oh, it hasn't got a name yet,' I simper, feebly. 'It's only in the very early stages, really.'
And then I change the subject, thus pointing the spotlight away in a different direction.

Anyway, there you have it. The Book with no Name progresses steadily and I will post further updates in due course.

Imogen.

PS. All name suggestions gratefully received.

PPS. I quite like Frogspawn.

2 comments:

Lee Knight said...

The Book with No Name has a certain ring about it! Or perhaps "Nameless"? "What's in a Name?" How would you sum up the plot in one line? Perhaps that would spark some ideas.

Well done with getting so far anyway - mine has finally got off the ground but it's very early day and I feel like I have a bit of a mountain to climb but your progress is encouraging.
Lee

Imogen said...

I'll get there, Lee. It'll leap out at me one of these days.

Once you get going, it'll be fine - until you get to about 50,000 words and then it all goes a bit pear shaped in my experience ( although this one hasn't yet!)

A new project! How exciting. I look forward to hearing how it's going.

Imogen,