Friday, March 26, 2010

Movin' On @150pgs/Contest Ongoin' Too/VOTE

Hello all -- has been much smoother sailing but I know I need to go back and do a lot of rewriting yet even so; when I do not wish to stop in mid scene because I cannot recall a person, place, or in the complete name of a character (hey, it happens) or the detail I need, a certain number say of lifeboats aboard or number of survivors, and I don't want to stop the flow of creative jucies coming through, I insert a big, fat capital X. Later, I clean up my X's when I am in editing mode; this savs a lot of grief and time. I can put a Titanic Timeline beside me or on the screen and go seek out the Xs via Replace and boom-boom-boom shoot them down like ducks in a row. I like to catch these up every ten or so chapters, and yeah, I am into Chapter Ten now! Feeling pretty good about that. Next installment remind me to write about breaks...scene shifts, how to set them up.

To date, I've continued with the order of one chapter Past, one chapter Future as the present in the story is 2020. It is a challenge to make each story as enticing as the other, and as I have said, I love to challenge myself to reach further, and this is certainly dragging it out of me.

There is another bit of business I'd like to share with you all, and that is under the heading or umbrella of X.... see, forgot but I know where I left that info., so I will go look it up and be right back.

Meanwhile here is the complete list of suggested BETTER titles than MINE for this novel; as you recall, I was using the wokring title PlagueShip Titanic and was never married to it, so I set up this contest to name that book. At this point, I may begin to ask folks to VOTE on the best title here in this list and so have something more than my mere subjectivity in making a choice. A kind of poll to help me out. Here are the titles so far (still have a few days of March left should you wish to leave a comment with your suggestion on the title and win a copy of Dead On and ack. page mention in the Titanic tome).

List is here:

Ransom Aboard
Ship for Ransom (Ship of Fools is already taken)
Titanic for Ransom
Death for Ransom
Hull Hell
Blown Ballist (sorry my friend, but I think this is funny)
Sea of Corpses
 --from which I extrapolated - Sea of Shoes (just kiddin' of course)
 --from which I extrapolated - Sea of Sacrifice and Sea of Ice
Raising the Dead
Dead at Sea
 --from which I extrapolated GhostShip
Pestilence Aboard (need an exterminator?)
Pestilence Passage
Pestilence Passenger
Pestilence Watch
Plauge Watch
*special suggestion - do as Prince does, no title, a Symbol only
Violins Played, Death Danced
 --Deah Dances to Violins maybe?
 -- Violins & Violence
Splinters of Fate
 --Shards of Fate maybe?
Curse to Forever
 --Curse of the Titanic
Karmic Voyage (after all J.P. Morgan was aboard)
Escape Titanic

I know how I am leaning, but I promised to keep the contest open until end of March so there may be more titles to come. Do not worry about my extrapolation titles for if I were to decide on a title extrapolated from one suggested, the winner is same with all the rewards! As his/her title was the catalyst for the idea.

Now I recall the craft issue I wanted to take up:  Notice how I did not talk about doing an outline but rather leapt into Chapter One from the get-go.  Know why? Go to the head of the class. I do not myself write up an outline or keep character cards, or do any of the prelim suff save research and note-taking. Not a good idea for everyone.

I will briefly discuss why I choose not to do an outline and why it is fine for some, not for others to do outlines. Much of it has to do with how we are wired differntly and the level of experience with organizing a novel. If it makes you comfy to do an outline and keep cards, etc., by all means go forth in this manner; I respect anyone who can put a novel together in any manner he or she can.  For me it gets old fast such prelim steps to writing, and for many people it kills spontaneity and again for me once a story has been told, even in outline, it can't help but get old for its author. But beware. Know thyself. If you have put together outlines and character cue cards and gone that whole nine yards only to never get the novel written, then this is not a good method or practice!

Use the practices and methods that appeal to your creative side, and remember a novel is not a spread sheet. I build it scene by scene and while I have a general notion in my head of where I am gong and where I want to end up, I like NOT to know what's coming next from page to page, scene to scene. I prefer an organic mehod or approach, allowing Chapter Two to have evolved in a natural progression from Chatper One and so on.  Of course it is Writing Without a Net....and of course you will write yourself into a corner here and there, but writing oneself out of said corners is part of the challenge and excitement of writing for me...and I emphasize for this author. There are  many mystery writers who write the last chapter first and write TO it.

I have never done this and it sounds like a logical way to work, but for now I do not know exactly how things will turn out in PlagueShip Titanic except that I know the Titanic will go down in the one story of the retelling of Titanic in 1912, and that someone will wina and someone will lose in the futuristic story in 2020 but at the moment I don't know if good or evil will prevail or if the creature is someone we trust in the early chapters.

Thanks so much everyone who has submitted titles. Earlier posts have gathered in titles as well. I have gathered them all together and if you wish to VOTE on a particular title or suggest additonal titles to bolster your chances, do so via comments here as it helps me keep them in order. Hope no ones done got their feelings hurt with my jocular remarks but that's just who I am. Nothing bad intended.

Thanks again and I hope you're finding the journal interesting. Can I  finish this book by Feb. 2011?  I mean polished and ready for an editor?  I have hopes that I have not fallen too far behind this goal.

Professor Rob


Teagan Oliver said...

I hopped over here after your post on the MMA list and found that I really enjoyed your blog post. I am also and organic writer, writing to an idea. Sometimes I find this puts me in a corner, but I do love a challenge. And if it isn't working I find it's because the motivation is lagging and I need to work on it. I've got one more to add to your list of titles. I prefer short and sweet or short and deadly, depending on the topic. I suggest Sick Ship. It worked for Ghost Ship and gets the idea across succinctly. Best of luck with the book.

Rob Walker said...

Teagan - Thanks for your kind words and feedback and suggestion; I will add it to the list of possibilities. See you on Murder Must Advertise.

Margie Vawter said...

And I hopped over here after catching up a little on DorothyL. I always look forward to reading your posts there. As for titles, I like Curse to Forever. I also have an extrapolation from Violins Played, Death Danced. Why not just Death Danced? Both seem to hit the mark for me.

Rob Walker said...

Hello Margie - not sure my DL posts are welcomed by all, but thanks for coming by and remarking; I like your take on Curse to Forever and will add it to the hopper. Death's Dance(d) has likely been used a lot like that old standby Dead of Winter. But will add both to the mix.

Hope you found something valuable here or in earlier posts following the writing of the novel.