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?

 

A strong protagonist: keep it simple, then oppose that

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Lisbeth Salander: smart and socially inept (and Gothic).
The rest is filler.

A lot of writing gurus will tell you a character for a fictional work cannot be one dimensional. They will tell you a good protagonist is a complex, evolving creature. It is my humble opinion that this is utter BS. I say: keep it simple. Continue reading

Write scenes, not books

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A writer ‘s gotta do what a writer ‘s gotta do. © sxc

Write a scene, not a book. Although I am definitely trying to write a novel, this is the most important principle for me to keep in mind if I want to get any writing done.

If I sit down behind my computer, thinking about my book, or worse, my “oeuvre”, then all I can see is the giant amount of work that’s still in front of me. Of course every writer, aspiring or established, fantasizes about holding those two crispy covers, with 360 pages of indisputable genius in between. But for me, personally, that thought mostly cramps my style. As a result, I will find myself dawdling on Facebook or Twitter, streaming some television series, making yet another cup of coffee, or – well yes – blogging.

While if I manage to keep my mind focused on one thing, writing one good scene, just one, then that seems feasible. The “good” might be still up for discussion, but at least I’ll have a scene. And then another one. And…

And what’s most important, focusing on the scene at hand helps me to genuinely enjoy my writing. Firstly because the stakes don’t feel so (friggin’) high, but also because I can feel that fun little jolt of achievement after every scene, instead of once every two years or so.

And if you’ll excuse me now, I’ve got another scene in mind. But first, I think I’ll make myself a cup of tea…