Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Working Titles

I have been neglecting the blog because May has kicked spring into high gear, and if I am still going to write everyday, other things are going to have to go.

Yesterday was a banner writing day: 1,469 words. If I could keep that up I'd be done before the end of summer! Of course, the writing may all be really stinky, and when I look back on it, I may reconsider my "calling" to write, but for now, I am pleased with the progress.

When I write, I almost always have a title in mind right at the start. This time, my document is named, Book 2. Hardly dignifying, but there it is. That's the extent of my creativity. I've pondered several option, but couldn't even come up with a decent working title, and so it remained Book 2.

Then I joined an online writer's group, which requires a real title when submitting something for critique. So I finally decided to take a dive and let other people - strangers - read the first chapter with the hopes of some honest feedback. But I needed a title.

And yesterday I found it while writing.

This is the passage:

I sink into the chair again. Ashley waits until they are gone before she asks, “Do you think God will heal me?”

I look at Travis, who looks back at me. “I don’t know,” I say. “Just because He can don’t mean He will.”


“I don’t know,” I say again.

“Because,” Travis says, “sometimes we become better people – stronger – by going through adversity.”

A tear slides down Ashley’s face. “I don’t think I want to be stronger,” she says. “I think I just want to be normal again.”

I move to the bed and hold Ashley’s head against me. “I know, baby girl. I want that, too.”

So the working title is (drum roll please)

Some Kind of Normal

I'm not sure I love it, but it will do for now. What do you think? Is that the kind of title that you might take a book off a shelf and flip over to see what it's about?


  1. I would, because "normal" is one of my favourite subjects. It's so shifty and subjective. My "normal" is completely foreign to someone else!

    Titles are hard! Someday I'll fess up to what my original title was. I've got two started now and have no idea what to call them. So far, one's "Innocent" and one's "Ride." It'll do. For now.

    (You're not only doing this one in first person but in present tense! Way to challenge yourself!!)

  2. I think it's GOOD!!! I would pick it up.

  3. Okay, I wrote about titles today! And I linked to this entry because it's a good one.

  4. Thanks! I guess I'll let it stick for a while! I liked your blog on titles, Heidi... I can see how the title changed as you changed the audience of the book. I think your new title is perfect for it.

    And yes... it's in present tense, which is another first. I have a half a blog about why I "chose" to do it that way, but I've never gotten around to finishing it. Maybe I'll try that this week. It's kickin' my butt, a little. Every now and then I slip back into past. I need a good editor to keep an eye on it!

    Is present tense overdone? I worry about that.

  5. I don't think present tense is overdone, but I do think there are times when it wouldn't have been necessary.

    In your case, I get the feeling that the story is being told as it happens: if the narrator were looking back on it, it would be from a different perspective. In mine, because it's teenagers telling the story, I wanted that totally self centred immediacy.

    I actually changed the title halfway through, right around the time I was suspecting that it wasn't specifically a teen book. The old title makes me cringe - always did, even though I thought it was funny! I just kept thinking, geez, what is this, an instruction manual??? Do I want to get blamed for that????

    I really like these writing conversations!