Wednesday, September 18, 2013

09/18/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Greetings everyone and welcome back. This week is going to be a challenge in patience for me as the cat has decided that eating too much is the best thing for him to do. Hint: it's actually not, he's stupid. This post is also being written as slowly as I can muster in an attempt to not hurt my wrists at work today. Writing intentionally slowly is incredibly difficult and I don't like it.

I was trying to figure out what the topic of today's post should be, and was running into a bit of a wall. Then I knocked the wall down with a sledge hammer and laughed at the pieces left on the hypothetically ground. I had trouble with figuring stuff out all last week, which means that's the perfect topic for today!

So naming stuff is hard. I mentioned briefly how difficult it can be sometimes to pick a title that seems to encompass your story while at the same time not just give away the ending. Normally I would use an example like ____ Dies in the End, but that's been done, and 'John Dies at the End' is a real thing and is actually quite entertaining. Now what about your whole series? If you're not writing a book series, you can just black out for a moment. Well...don't actually, because again, naming things is almost as hard as figuring out your first sentence so it's still something important.

The reason I have been mulling over this is because Smashwords has added in something called a Series Organizer (I actually think it's called something else, but the word 'series' is in there and 'organizer' still tells you what it does) which means you can put your books into one ore more series and give that series a title. This is giving your book a title pushed up to 1000% because now not only do you need to figure out another title, but it has to be appropriate for multiple books, not just one. Potentially more if you did what I did and put things into both a trilogy and an overarching series.

The process that needs to be done is just like if you were giving a title to a single book; make sure it's appropriate, doesn't give too much away, and is still eye-catching to your potential reader. Admittedly you can just name the series after the first book, I mean even Tolkien did that, as did JK Rowling, and lots of other people. Or you could just try to find something that fits all the books together in a neat little package. I could name a few people, but one of them is an author I'm not too fond of and it's too early for me to think of others. If you'd like to know who it is, feel free to ask me later and I'll happy go into a rant for you, but since that's not the purpose of this post I am going to politely avoid it.

The issue I was having is that in the first trilogy the first two books center around the same people, and the last one will be different ones, but it's still the same era (kinda) with the same characters, but a completely different premise/style. So the initial series titles I was coming up with would either have everything to do with the first two books and not so much the third, or more to do with the last one and only a hint with the first couple. After banging rocks together I figured it out, but it still felt frustrating. The overall series title was a bit more challenging, but because everything is moving to one last big conflict that did make the decision quicker in the long run.

Also, this is going to take longer than you think it should. Not like editing where I am still convinced there is a way to make that process go quicker (there isn't, I'm crazy), but naming something, especially something that is technically "done" is going to make you twitch. It took me two weeks to name my trilogy...and I just remembered I'm going to have to do that again when 'Daughter of the Shackled King' is ready to be in my head that shouldn't have taken that long. This isn't necessarily true, especially if life is throwing bowling balls at your head at the same time. A name is important, if you ask magicians the most important, and you need to make sure it fits all of the esthetic criteria before you settle on it. So even if you feel silly for taking weeks to name something, just remember that it'll be awesome in the end no matter what.

Thanks everyone for stopping by. If you have any questions, or if you have your own methods for naming stuff that I didn't mention that works for you really well, please put it in the comments section. Everyone has trouble naming stuff and I'd love to see everyone helping everyone else as much as possible. For now though, I will be back on Friday (unless cat decides to have another emergency) so please have a great rest of your week!

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