Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Titling a work

Finding a title for a work is something writers, painters, sculptors, and photographers run into. The work is finished. It's what you wanted it to be. If you intend to present it to the world, it needs a title. It can be as simple as Canyon I or a lot more creative. It might be named for the place you painted or the energy you felt and what you hope someone else will also find when reading your work.


Through the years I have titled paintings, sculptures, books, and blogs. Sometimes I know the title before I even start. Sometimes it comes to me as I am in the midst of it. Once in awhile I have to dig for it after the work is finished. Once I had a book out and was forced to retitle it due to the original title, which I had seen as relating to the story, which used the legend of Prometheus and dealt with love. Golden chains seemed apropos. Readers thought it was erotic. Since it was not (it had nudity in the artistic sense not sexual, I both lost it readers and had some not happy who bought it. I changed it to Bannister's Way which was also fine given the characters. He was a secondary character in Desert Inferno and not known for being reluctant to do things his way.

For paintings, sculptures and photography, titles might not matter so much-- other than to keep track of the work. For books, titles are key to getting someone to even look at the pages. The writer has an image and a couple of words to convince a reader they would like to know more.

Before I began the recent Arizona historical, it had a title. It came before the first word was written. The title still worked when it was finished.

But it was a little more complicated with the paranormal trilogy. When I wrote the first one, it had its title as soon as I finished the book. The second title came during the writing. I began writing the third with a title in mind-- finished it thinking it would be its title. Except...

A trilogy, like in paintings, is linked together in a unique way. It's not just about common characters but has to have stories which are tied together. Mine are separate, each comes to a conclusion, but they are tied to a problem that is not resolved until the last one. 

That meant, I needed a title for the whole, which would be different than either of the three eBooks. I am going to offer all three only as a paper book-- partly because of Amazon letting readers take a Kindle, return it within a week for no reason. It has also led me to hold off on my Oregon historical series which I may bring out in paper but not electronic. In the case of this book, I had another reason to bring it out as a paperback with the possibility it might appeal to metaphysical type bookstores. Anyway that meant four titles, with the book being the name of the trilogy. (confused yet?)

Late one afternoon, my writing done, nothing I could start editing (too soon), I sat in our garden yard. I was enjoying the sunshine, looking up through the oak trees at an intensely blue sky, sipping some red wine, wondering how long before Farm Boss would be in from the barns, and mentally trying out different combinations for the paper book's title. After awhile, it came to me that it'd be easier to retitle the third then taking its title for the paper book.

So they will be When Fates Conspire, The Dark of the Moon (due out end of April), Storm in the Canyon (probably early June), and late in June a paper book-- Diablo Canyon.

If you don't write, you might not think titles are such a big deal. Well you probably know based on which ones draw you to try a book. As a writer, you want that title to interest a reader but also depict something important in the story. It doesn't have to be an actual event but can instead be the feeling behind the story. It has to have the right energy and not be deceptive. Add to that, ideally you'd prefer it not have been used by another writer. Since there are millions of books out there, the last part can be impossible which is where series names as part of a title can help.

Diablo Canyon is kind of a mystical place. It doesn't actually exist, but its image needed to appear both powerful and beautiful. The photo above, a joining of two of my own photos, will be on the paperback cover. The eBooks will each have an image that depicts the couples their stories center around. 

Doing a trilogy as a novella series is a little more complex than I had expected. A friend asked if I ever thought I'd be doing one when I began writing. I didn't think I'd be doing one before that dream in November! I've written series books where they take the same family or secondary characters and go forward, but trilogies have a different set of expectations in that there needs to be an ongoing problem that is threaded throughout them-- while each one, at least in mine, provides a satisfying conclusion.The final paper book will be almost 99,000 words which is a good length for a novel.

2 comments:

Tabor said...

Trilogies seem to be more popular these days. I think it is because we are addicted to pleasure and when we find characters and story lines and settings we like they become like familiar friends and we want a repeat of that but with something new. I also find cover art is pretty important. It really influences me when I pick up a book. I will still open and read a few pages even if I do not find the art appealing...but it does set the mind before we give the story a chance.

Rain Trueax said...

I agree, Tabor. Covers do impact me too for what book I might like to read and titles make a difference. Wuthering Heights said it all likewise Gone with the wind. Life of Pi. Grapes of Wrath. Sun Also Rises. We do know they matter but it can be tricky getting the right one.

The trilogies often don't end as I think they should in that they force a reader to buy the next ones to get what happens. I do have a conclusion with each novella but only to the love story, not the bigger question. I don't know that I'd write another one. This one was out of that dream. I have written series before. And a lot of continuing characters or following one family. I have two more in mind for series continuation. After that nothing is hanging out there. That would be weird if it lasts...