It seems like either I have a great title right away or I can’t think of a title to save my life.
When I don’t have a title or a character name I use a place holder. For example, Season of Us was referred to as Save the Dog which is a callback to a popular screenwriting book called Save the Cat.
I do this even with short stories and story ideas so I have zillions of folders on my computer with names like “Scary Monster Thing” or “Auntie gets Lost.” Even if I eventually change the title and the story is published, I keep it the placeholder name in my computer.
I don’t recommend this practice because there are times when I need to find an older piece of writing and I can’t find it because I can’t remember the working title.
I generally don’t have a hard time coming up with names for characters but sometimes I use the name of a person I know as a placeholder. I once was about to submit something when I realized I was still using a real person’s name. And she has a somewhat unusual name and the character had a few similarities with her. I had to come up with a new name fast.
I’ve started the next book. Let’s pencil in mid-October for a release date. More details when I have them.
My week was almost completely derailed by some unwelcome house guests.
We had squirrels in the fireplace. We’ve lived in this house forever and never had this problem before. It’s a long story with many chapters but for now the squirrels have all been captured and released outside and the chimney is screened off so they have to find another place to live.
The apple tree is gorgeous this time of year. I have tried different angles and different times of day and can’t capture how pretty it looks. I think the tree is near the end of its days. When you stand next to it you can see that the trunk is partially hollow and the main limbs as well. It’s hard to believe it has so many blooms when the foundation looks so sketchy.
(Also, can you spot the squirrel in the photo? I don’t know if it is one that was living with us.)
I’ve been trying to rearrange my time so I can get more writing done. Or, any writing would be nice at this point.
I don’t watch that much TV anymore but I have a few shows and it’s nice to have something when I’m out of brain juice at the end of a long day. I quit three shows last week including Scandal. I loved the first few seasons of that show but I noticed it was always the last thing left on the DVR and even then I would put off watching it. I gave up in the middle of the Susan Ross episode.
I was dismayed to check my future recordings to see three new shows starting this week. But one is Outlander. Yay.
I’ll figure out how to fit it all in.
It’s both. I have a stack here, if you want one drop me a note with your address. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to collect your address. It makes my head hurt to think of collecting potential readers’ snail mail addresses.)
I gave the beta readers a month and they all responded early.
I expected the final re-write to take forever but I think it took me one weekend. I spent a little more time trying to fix a few spots I thought were still weak and then off to the editor.
Since then it’s been a lot of learning process for getting it published. I’m glad I’m finally getting close.
When I started this whole thing I had grand ideas for several different series and free novellas. I knew I couldn’t do four books a year, but maybe three.
Now I’m thinking one every nine months would be pretty good.
I can see where I could write more efficiently. But it also puts a lot of stress on my home life when I get wrapped up in a writing project for an extended period of time. Plus I like to do other things like hang out with my husband and putter in the yard. I exercise. I prefer to eat food I make myself.
I still haven’t decided whether to write additional stories connected to this one.
I am considering doing a series of Urban Indian romance because near as I can tell, there are none and I have tons of ideas. But this is going to take some preparation so no projected release date yet.
Plus, I’m going back to the Project of Forever 2 to see if I can finalize that.
Dahlia from my garden.
What I didn’t mention in my previous post was how much I loved working on this project.
I go through cycles of insomnia and normally when I wake up in the middle of the night, I stare at the ceiling unhappily. During the project I would happily get up and start working. I was constantly coming up with ideas I wanted to work into the story.
At the end of May I finished a draft on The Project of Forever 2 and as a reward I decided to finish Season of Us. And to incentivize myself, I hired an editor and got myself on the calendar. Then I recruited my beta readers and gave them a hard date when I would give them a draft.
The 44K draft was a bit of a mess. For example, I knew Shelly was involved in some sort of business but I wasn’t sure what. And I knew she would have a sidekick but changed my mind between friend, sister, sister-in-law and mother-in-law. I took a long weekend to map it all out and make an outline so I knew what I needed to fill in. It took me two months to get it figured out and expand the manuscript to 75K.
This is amazing speed for me. I’m not a fast writer plus I have a fairly demanding day job. I’m also the person most responsible for keeping my household from falling apart. Three cheers for the outline.
Then it was ready for the beta readers.
I wrote Season of Us at the challenge of a friend.
I had been (and still am) working on something I refer to as: The Project of Forever. I also had a separate shorter piece I was working on that became the Project of Forever #2. I was banging my head against the wall with both projects.
So when the challenge came, I was ready to try something new. I’ve always wanted to write contemporary romance. The first novel I ever attempted was romance. Actually, that’s not completely true. I tried to write a book when I was a kid. It was about a girl with horses. (Of course.)
November was coming. I had a vague idea. I knew Zach would be a professional soccer player and Shelly would be someone older and a little more stable. I had a couple of ideas for scenes and I mapped out a couple of key moments.
When November 1st came, I went for it.
The goal for NaNoWriMo is 50K words. My goal was 40K because I decided, “I’m not crazy.” I managed to do 44K and had a beginning, middle and end.
I considered this a success.
Then I put it away and went back to flogging on The Project of Forever.