Thursday, July 8, 2010


It’s late. Or early. Depends on how you look at it. I can’t sleep cause it’s hotter than the Sahara Desert, but moist. I could feel the sweat drip between my shoulder blades and because it felt just slightly like a beetle or some other multi-legged critter that totally does not belong in a bed, I was up. Grabbed a glass of iced tea and decided to sit down and surf. But there really isn’t much action going on this time of night. Just like late night TV.
But this is not the only reason I can’t sleep. You ever get so obsessed with what you happen to be writing at the time that your character’s world essentially starts to become your world? You stay up late trying to solve their problems, or create them depending on what stage you’re at. You run through necessary scenes that need to get written, you play dialogue over in your head, even editing unnecessary words as you go, trying to imagine the exact actions of your characters while they are speaking. Their facial expressions, their hand and body movements. The ever changing format of the piece at hand (in this case a novel). Which chapter should go there, and oh I think this one will work better there. You move everything around, plan out strategies. And before you know it, just like when you get completely engrossed in the scene you’re writing, over an hour has passed, maybe even two.
And so this is what is keeping me up on this insanely muggy night. On top of that I am wracking my brain to come up with a better title. Something that suits the subject matter and is original. I have a working title that would have worked three drafts ago but so much has changed since then that it’s totally not going to work anymore. So now it just remains my working title. It’s probably too early to really focus so much effort on such an important aspect of the whole process but I totally fear that I will get to the end and still won’t have that magical heading. That title that will set it apart from all the rest.
I have a theme. And a tentative possible title, but I am pretty sure it’s been used before. But the title works on so many levels it’s scary. Yet I don’t want to go there cause as I said it’s been used on several occasions I’m sure. So I sift through all the little pockets of my brain where I tend to store completely useless information in hopes that I can pull something from  there, dust off the cobwebs, tweak it a little and have the best title ever. But it’s not working. Either there are way too many cobwebs that I will need a hatchet to break through or maybe, just maybe, there isn’t as much junk there as I originally thought.
To be creative, I think I need a metaphor for what I am trying to say. I even tried brainstorming. You know how they show you to do it in school? The main topic in the middle of the page, circled, with a million different branches going this way and that. A cobweb on a page. Often this technique works for me. Random thoughts fall to the page and before you know it, the answer is right in front of me. Or even free fall writing some thoughts on a page. That’s worked in the past for other areas such as character and plot development but as of yet, it’s not working on the title issue. Heck, I don’t know what I am expecting. Most of the time it takes me forever to even come up with a semi-decent title for a blog post. But at least with a blog post, if I can’t think of one, I just don’t use one. Can’t do that with a novel. Apparently publishers don’t like it when you send them something called Untitled. What’s up with that anyway? What if you wrote a story and the only title that worked was Untitled? Would they discard it or read it? Would they assume that by Untitled you meant that there was no title? That you were just to damn lazy to come up with a unique and introspective name for your piece? Or would they actually think, hey, maybe that is what it’s supposed to be called and therefore, I should read it? It’s just one of those things in life that make you go, hmmm.
But as I ponder that, I am still no closer to a title and it’s still too hot to sleep.

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