After the Ordeal

Things are almost finished this morning.  My intention yesterday morning was to finish up Fantasies in Harmonie and be ready to move on to something else–that “else” being Camp NaNo.  But there was so much more going on yesterday–

For one, there was a birthday in the family that required some attention on my part.  Between getting things set up on line, and having to deal with someone on a freelance writing site who wanted me to show him a concept I would develop for him before there’d be any exchange of money (hint:  I recognize when someone trying to get something from me for nothing), and a late birthday dinner, there were two other events that needed to be addressed:

First, on the trip home, I encountered an RV burning on the side of the road.  I’m not going to say how said RV came to be burning on the side of the highway, but given the demeanor of the folks who’d bailed out and were standing around looked panicky, and the location of said torched vehicle, I’m going to opine that there was some cooking in progress, the RV came around a couple of sharp corners, there was a spillage of something hot, and–WHAM!  Time to bail!

Since none of the people standing around the RV were bald, I’m guessing the cooking of meth wasn’t involved.

Then I was not in the house more than ten minutes when the power went out.  Not just in the house, but around the entire neighborhood.  Pitch darkness everywhere, or as dark as it gets on a cloudy Sunday at 7:36 PM.  I remarked that the longest the power every stayed out where I live is about two and a half hours, and right around nine-thirty the utilities trucks rolled into the area.  At 10:05 PM the power was restored, showing that when it comes to calling the lengths of power outages, I nail them.

The downside to all this was being unable to start writing until almost ten-thirty.  The power on, the A/C going, the computer finally up because I can only run mine for about forty-five minutes on the battery.  Otherwise I’d have been typing away in the darkness.  I gotta get me a new system

The upside to this is I managed a thousand words before heading off to bed, and I’m about to cap that with another thousand or so words after I finish this post.  Then . . . well, what comes next, you ask?  I know what comes next.

I gotta come up with a title.

That’s the way I start every new story, with a title, as taught by a lot of writers who I grew up reading.  First you have a concept, then you have a title, then you do your research, then you work things out–

And then you start writing.

The countdown clock for Camp NaNo says I have twenty days and change before I have to write.  I’m going to write what should be an opening to a new novel; I’m not going to tackle a novel just yet.  At least I don’t think I will.

But I’ve been wrong before.

Giving a Name to the New Voice

Today starts off the last long weekend of the year 2012, and the beginning of the next in what could be a few more years walking uneasily upon this planet.  2013 is just a few days away, and I’m facing it with a lot more optimism than I did this current year.

But we aren’t about to speak of what is going to happen in the year to come.  There are things remaining for this year, and one of them will be accomplished today.  That event will be the start of a new story.

The last week has seen some commiserating about what I’m doing next.  I have names–most of them–and I think I have a title for my story, though it’s not exactly lighting a fire in my mind.  I’m strange this way, in that I like to have a title ready to go before I start writing–another in a line of bad habits I picked up from Harlan Ellison.  I don’t want it to be cute, but I don’t want it to be something like Father Breeds the Bride, which was one of the titles that popped up on Smashwords just now when I checked what was new on my dashboard.  I don’t know, that sounds like a story that could be fun for the whole family . . .

This is something I seem to struggle with when it comes to stories.  I’m pretty good at finding a title for my blog posts–I mean, I do this every day–but when it comes to stories, I’ll sit for hours trying to get something that feel “right”.  Then I make that my Scrivener project title, put it at the top of my story, and away I go.  This is one of those times, though, when my mind is refusing to cooperate, and it’s leaving me struggling to find something that is going to leave me happy.

Titles can tell you everything about a story, or nothing.  Sometimes they’re only marginally associated to a story, but they still seem to fit whatever the writer is trying to get across.  I mean, when you read Flight of the Phoenix, you’re pretty certain that at some point you’re going to see the Phoenix fly.  When you open Dragonflight, you’re pretty certain you’ll find dragons flying.  When you read Twilight, you’re expecting to see a lot of stuff happening right around the time the sun has set–what?  Okay, so maybe not.

I’m a believer in having the right title for a story.  Better or worst, my titles are mine, and I’ll own them to the very end, even if others don’t like them.  More than a few people told me that Kolor Ijo was a stupid name, or was something that had nothing that I was going to do in the story, but I kept it because when I saw those words, and understood what they meant, I knew it was what I wanted.  Somewhere down the line a publisher may not like the title, but it’s mine, and I stick with it.

By some time today I’ll have that title, and it’ll become the name of my project, and my story.  I’ll sketch out the characters and then chapter out the stories.

All that remains after that is the screaming.