Title Number 39, Almost Finished

My last entry included an excerpt from a work in progress, one I’m finishing up now.  I’ve completed the first draft and am in the middle of a readthrough and editing… which goes slowly when you do it all yourself.  The recommendation I see is that you never edit your own work.

I would add a qualifier: unless you can’t afford an editor.  Maybe I could, just barely… but we live close to the bone and my family has given up quite enough already to help me pursue my writing, thank you very much.  Executive decision: I do my own work.  It’s an exercise in role-playing.  S. A. Barton the writer and S. A. Barton the editor have to read the same story from different mental places.  My wife is kind enough to read my rough drafts and give me her comments, which helps me make the mental shift and sometimes leads to some changes as well.

But I didn’t come here to write about editing your own/my own work.  Not entirely.

I came here to say something about titles.  I write my own titles, too.  My family critiques my working titles, but the final decision is mine.  Sometimes they change… and I think that’s a good thing.  If my first choice of anything is always right, I start to question my decision making process.  Nobody is right the first time, all the time.

When I started writing, my working title was The Landfill Down By The Pumphouse.  Then it became The Pumphouse Down By The Landfill because I liked the sound of it better with the words switched around.

Then I was writing a line of dialogue near the end of the story.  Having written the mundane line, “My name is Gerald,” I had to explain why saying that simple introduction, unremarkable to you or me, was remarkable to Gerald.  And it was remarkable to Gerald, for reasons I can’t explain without giving away a major part of the story.  Sorry, when a story is only 5,000 words long, you really can’t throw out a lot of spoilers without, you know, spoiling it.

The point is, I wrote the line.  I realized it really meant something to Gerald.  I explained why it was so important to him, and as I did that I realized I had to change the title again, and radically.

Here’s the cover.  I hope to have it up on Smashwords in 48 hours or less.



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