Writer’s Blog: Stardate: 14.03.2013
I have astounded myself. On the 22.01.2013 I mentioned in a blog that I had been inspired to start writing a new book by reading a Raymond Chandler novel. (Just to be clear, it was his writing style that inspired me not theft of his plot or anything like that.) I have just finished the first draft. It is eighty-two-thousand words in length. Checking back on my computer, I created the first file for the first chapter of this novel on 16.01.2013. By my calculations that means that I have written the book in less than two calendar months (and one of those was February). I repeat: I have astounded myself.
I’m not bed-ridden, retired or unemployed. It’s not like I don’t have a life outside of my mind and away from my computer. Like every other aspiring author, I have to go to work. I have a family to support. I have a one-year-old son who insists on having my full attention during his waking hours if I’m at home. I go out. I read books too. In those two months I have written seven blog posts (not including this one), which any blogger will know needs time and attention. I have to perform all those mundane but necessary tasks like eating and washing. So where have I found the time and energy to write a book in two months?
And it’s not crap. Whatever you might be forgiven for thinking, it is not crap. You’ll just have to take my word for that. It’s not finished either but it is a first draft.
And I have a title. My last blog was about the trials, tribulations and turmoil involved in finding a title that will do justice to my book. And I have one. For any would be writers out there who struggle to find that elusive title I have some great advice: when in doubt do the following.
1) Wait until you are well advanced with the writing of the story so that you are able to pick out one or more really key themes central to it.
2) Condense that theme or themes into one or two words that sum the themes up precisely. Simple is best.
3)Take those words and type them into the Shakespeare search feature at http://www.rhymezone.com
4) Sit back and revel in the number of quotes that come up for said search term.
5) Find inspiration from the best there has ever been.
No one has ever written so much so well as the ‘Bard of Avon’. And the variety of choice phrases to ‘borrow’ is staggering. Or it was for me. There is also the bonus of using the full quote (and crediting it if you’re feeling inclined) on the title page of your book to make yourself look well-read and intelligent. I intend to.
So, what’s my title? Well, it sounds so simple and uninteresting but when it’s taken in the context of the full quote and measured against the five criteria that I set myself for selecting a title it’s a Cinderella’s slipper of a title. Don’t believe me? It’ll be out on ebook after the metaphorical six weeks in a drawer and obligatory fourteen edits.
Bad Sons – ‘Good wombs have borne bad sons.’ The Tempest, I,iii.