Today for the first time in years, I sat down to start pre-writing a new novel. I’ve been looking forward to this for an entire year. I’ve been looking forward to it all Christmas. When I did sit down at last, and pulled out my ancient, worn-out copy of “Teach Yourself Screenwriting,” it took me half an hour of internet time wasting before I could get going.
It was only when I finally got to the bit about choosing a title that I finally stopped for the day (also, I need some tea). Finding a title has been excruciating. After several false starts, I eventually settled down on a title that was basically pinched from a Marilyn Manson lyric. This is NOT a good idea. Having written before about plagiarism, I took myself in hand. Anyway, the lyric kind of gave away the ending so really not a good idea, then.
It’s been three years since I first wrote up the original few pages of notes of this novel and in those three years, the novel has been through about ten titles. The one I finally settled on today seems okay – but only okay. It doesn’t have a WOW factor. So I’ve bracketed it off as a Working Title and hope that something miraculous happens before I published, otherwise I’m going to end up with a lame, meaningless title like Ultra. And look where that got me.
I can’t remember when last I sat down to write a new novel cold, as it were. When I wrote Ultra several years ago, it had already been developed from a short story into a screenplay, with months and months of complex pre-writing. So when I sat down to write the novel years later, it was easy. I’d done all the preliminary work. I just changed the names and places that felt more familiar to me and the story and characters literally flowed from my fingertips.
Since then, I’ve done a great deal of improving on my Fleet novels, but none of them needed rewriting from scratch. Even when I rewrote Commences some six years ago, it was the third major attempt at getting the story out, so it wasn’t new. Transference also became a novel developed from a short story into a screenplay. Flesh for Sale started life as a novella. V.Gomenzi, which needed a GREAT deal of work, had to be structured around the three other written Fleet novels, so it didn’t entirely feel new. I was inside a universe that had already been created and V.Gomenzi bound that universe and made sense of it.
So, in fact, I have NEVER sat down to write a novel that wasn’t something else before. This is my first truly NEW novel. I self-published in order to get to this novel because I knew I couldn’t write it until I had the Fleet novels out the way. I had to find some kind of closure on them and even though self-publishing has been a total utter failure, at least I feel it’s DONE.
I can begin again.
It’s been three years since I first had this idea. What a relief it is to be finally working on. Expect many reports on the gruelling writing process.
And as for that title, it’s top secret!!!
PS Great date: 5 – 1 – 15