Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Progress on Titanic title & Title Decision on the title fights

Sorry it has taken me a while to get back with a decision on the title for the Tiantic book, but life has a way of getting in the way of writing and blogging and such.... However, I have not been idle as now the book has been pushed along to over 210 pages and up around 45,000 words!  So since the book was begun in mid-Feb and I have till mid-May to complete the rough draft in the promised 3 months...I believe I still have a chance at making that self-torturous deadline.  Maybe. 

As a book builds, for me it builds momentum, a thing some of us authors refer to as a "forward moving dynamo" but in this case running two stories concurrently, I need TWO forward moving dynamos...and each time the past story begins to snore, I have to do something to wake it up or shake it up! And same with the future story!

At any rate, I am enjoying both stories equally so far, and I feel good about how each is falling into place (both stories) and how each plays into the other; the ebb and flow of each story being told with chapters alternating (an early decision for form, shape similar to Fried Green Tomatoes). This choice on shape has created a distinct flavor that as it grows inspires me to greater challenges still. It is working well for the novel thus far and a cool kind of rhythmn -- a rock and roll, if you will, is the result. I am happy with the way it is going, which is always a good thing! Hate it when a story doesn't begin to tell itself.

Now time for the title selection.  First let us list again the titles as they came in and then below that the selection and winner. Those rejected were rejected for a variety of reasons, sound and sense, covering the thrust of the book or failing to, pointing away from the point, too oblique, etc. but THANKS a million for your suggestions one and all.  Here are those marked off the list:

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

YES, the only title without a strike-through is CURSE of THE TITANIC
which I feel covers both the 'horror' aspect of the tale and the Titanic aspect, covering both time periods in a sense, past and future.  Somewhat like Curse of the Bambino, it seems most commercial and covers all the bases in four words. I liked many of the suggestions offered, but I did not feel they illuminated enough of what the story means to convey.  I actually loved Escape Titanic and Shards of Fate for instance, but as some book pros have informed me many times over, it might just be too confusing or oblique.

Now the winner is a bit of a problem as it is all in the family what with this being my 33 year old son's suggestion, and Stephen does all my covers, and he really feels that this cover could kick butt in terms of fonts & graphics, and the kid doess wonders with graphics. So I gotta go with Curse of the Titanic, but hey, I intend to run another contest - one in which I intend to give away a copy of DEAD ON -- Promise.  I feel ambivalent about how this worked out, but honestly, I think it is the best of the best titles for this novel.  If you agree or even if you disagree or are upset with me, do let me hear about it, so I can offer some sort of restitution for all the time and energy you put into the contest.  Honestly, it was not RIGGED; it just fell out this way.

Rob Walker
catch my Psych 101 for Writers and Their Characters at the Writer's Corner at  Pavlov's Dog is alive and well there!

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