The quest for a good title

Writing a novel is a piece of cake compared to finding a halfway decent title for it. Well, it’s not, really, but that’s how I’m feeling right now.

Ideally, the title for my new book will be catchy, marketable and easy to remember. It also needs to reflect at least one of the themes in the book (du-uh). And in a perfect world it will also sound just a little bit tongue in cheek. Oh, but it can’t be too long, of course.

So, after weeks and weeks of pondering, I have come to a series of crucial decisions: Firstly, I have lowered my standards from “brilliant” to “strong”. Next, I have lowered them again to “good”. Right now, “acceptable” would make me downright euphoric. What’s next? Printable?


The work-writing combination

625469_10200765814763420_644865026_nFriday I’m in love. Because tomorrow it will be weekend and weekend means time to write.

I try to work on my manuscript a little bit every day, but in the weekend I get to write for hours on end. By Sunday evening I should even be able to see a noticeable difference in my word count. When I have been writing on a new chapter, it should have went up (fun fun fun!), if I have been rewriting, it should have gone down quite a bit (less fun, but necessary).

Yet every Sunday evening, when I look at what I’ve really achieved… well, it kinda makes me feel like sticking my pants down and moon the hell out of everybody who spent the whole weekend chilling by a poolside sipping beer. Especially my boss, who expects me back on the job the following morning. Continue reading

Does anybody have experience with The Black List?

I have written a screenplay.  Hurrah! Ring the church bells and crack the champagne. Or not?

The next problem is I don’t have any contacts in the film industry. Well, not in Hollywood, anyway. And the internet is trying very  hard to convince me that sending out an unsolicited script is about as effective as trying to yell at a passing airplane.

So, I’m considering to have my script evaluated by The Black List.

That’s not a free service though. I did some research on it, and quite a few blogs recommend The Black List. Some even rave about it. However, my evil journalist mind suspects posts like these of being cleverly disguised advertising. This way I’m hoping to get some feedback from people who have actually tried it.

Pwetty pwetty pwease?

Do you share your ideas?

Every writer’s second worst nightmare is to spend years pondering, writing and rewriting an idea that, as it turns about, (frankly, my dear) nobody gives a damn about. The easiest way to avoid wasting years on a stinker, is probably to ask people for their opinion on your ideas, before you withdraw into your aloof cabin in the woods or your lonely tower room for a few years of writing.

But then again, every writer’s worst nightmare, is having an awesome idea, and then seeing it break all sales or box office records, with some backstabbing writer buddy’s name on it.

So, do you share your best ideas, or do you keep them quiet until you have an unbridgeable head start? Both have their pros and cons:

Pro telling:

  • People can tell you if your idea stinks.
  • Talking about something clears your head, even regardless of feedback.
  • It reduces the loneliness of writing.
  • A miracle might occur and the guy in a bar you’re tipsily yapping your idea to, might happen be a bigshot agent/publisher/producer, who likes your idea so much he shoves you a big contract under your nose.

Against telling:

  • Your idea might get stolen.
  • A lot of people really don’t care about your writing ideas. You will bore them to oblivion if you talk too much about your latest projects. By the way, the same usually goes for your children, travels, home improvement projects and patchworking.
  • People might influence you, and make you deviate you from your clear goal or themes.
  • In the end, it all comes down to how you develop your characters and ideas. Oblomov barely left his couch, but he made an amusing protagonist. You might also be better at writing than at randomly explaining all the elements of your plot. Premature negative reactions could discourage you from a good idea and the world might just be denied of a master piece.

Three paragraphs and a list, and I’m still not sure what’s the best approach. So, please tell me what you think? Do you talk about your ideas or don’t you?

Naked (2)

Yes, I procrastinate. But don’t forget: I did manage to write a whole novel. Although I probably did it while I was supposed to do something else. Picture: sxc

This is an excerpt from my first novel. Now, I’m not a native speaker of English and I just quickly translated this bit myself, so please excuse me if something sounds a bit quirky.

“Do you ever arrive too late, or just in time, even when you initially had enough time?” A few seconds passed before Alanis reluctantly moved the cursor to the little ball before the answer “Yes, nearly always”. A dry click and on to the next question. The quicker, the better, because the last one had not improved her mood. “Do you arrive late at meetings, parties or your job? Do you often have to improvise a meal because your refrigerator is empty? Do you often miss your train? Does having a meal require doing some dishes first because all the cutlery is dirty? Do other people point out your lack of punctuality? Do you let gift certificates expire? Did you ever write post cards when travelling and brought them home in your suitcase?” This was getting confrontational. The row of balls beneath the answer “Yes, nearly always” by now looked like a Christmas tree. Continue reading

Naked (1)

Publishing a book is showing the world everything you’ve got. Picture: sxc

I’ve wanted to be a writer since the time I realised a biro is not merely a chew toy. And behold, a measly twenty five years later, my first novel hit the stores. For what seemed like an eternity – while writing, mailing with my publisher, choosing a cover, checking out lay-out – I had been looking forward to the moment I would hold my very first book in my hands. Still, it came like a shock to me: people are actually reading it now (well, with any luck, that is). And they might just think it sucks. Continue reading