And now the fic wittering portion of your daily misery. Nearly 10K words of story for the current project. You can all expect to read it on July 11 at summer_of_giles. Assuming I finish it. If not, you'll read the first part next Wednesday and the rest later.
I spent yesterday outlining and not writing directly much at all. I was completely stuck, up to my knees in the thickening concrete of miserable confusion. So out comes the secret weapon: the conversation with Mr P. Every specific suggestion he makes is wrong, almost always. (I've regretted every single one I've taken. Stop sulking, D!) But what he has got is a great sense of story. When I describe the right thing to him, he knows it and can say so. So I had the conversation with the husband, spent a couple of hours with Omni Outliner, Best Tool Evar, and came up with something I could believe in.
The payoff is that today I'm writing with some amount of confidence that I'm moving in the right direction. My protagonists are bickering nicely, but they're also working together when they need to. And they'll pull together when the bad stuff starts happening. I am happy with their character arcs, which go in quite different directions in reaction to the same events. And I have some neat stuff happening that I don't think I've read before. And I think I am mean to them at least a little bit, though I'm never mean enough.
Uh oh. I'm too cheerful about it. It's going to suck utterly.
Title-based procrastination. Today to procrastinate I read that quality source for quality wank, metafandom. painless_j wrote this thing on titles that I sort of agree with and sort of don't. The writer disses titles in languages other than English, but there are tons of great ones of those; perhaps they're a problem in Potterficland? The writer disses long titles, but they can be perfect for comic stories. And are a bit of a tradition in a certain kind of comic story, in fact. The writer disses one-word titles, but there are lots of those that work as well. Somebody in the comments singles out A. S. Byatt's Possession for insulting, but man, mileage varies. I think it's a wonderful multi-layered title for a wonderful multi-layered book.
I would second one part of the poster's advice, though: Dude, you kinda aren't the first to think "Little Gidding" lines are cool, you know? There's nothing as painful as yet another reference to an over-read poet. I feel sorry for Robert Frost. And alas, most of Shakespeare is off limits for similar reasons. Go for it and quote the obscure plays, though. Yay, Troilus & Cressida!
Vague titles suck.
Overused titles suck.
Obvious titles suck.
References often work (when not overused).
Titles that pick up something specific from the story and call it out often work. Especially if that something is obscure to the reader.
I find choosing titles hard, most of the time, except when it's easy and a title smacks me in the face. Too often I end up posting with my working titles, which are usually painfully prosaic. I kinda like the one-word titles: Breathing, Blackmail, Thusia (ooh evil pretentious Greek word!), Emergence. I like them because they're easy. The original poster may now mock me.
|title||working title||my opinion|
|Apples, Oranges, and Pears||Buddy Flick||great|
|Tradition & Protocol||Claim Bond||decent, picks up quote from series dialog & themes in the story|
|Thusia||Thusia||good; Greek + sacrifice == lots of stuff in that story|
|Dust On His Hands From the Sky||Train||meh; pretentious bullshit|
|Gas-Ring Alchemy||January Weekend||decent; points to the story's underlying structure, which is something a reader probably won't notice otherwise|
|Breathing||Post-Grave h/c||meh, gave me fits, but picked up a repeated image|
|Ars Draconis||Ars Draconis||forced by the prompt system; decent|
|Hazy Solos||Hazy Solos||crappy|
I have no clue whatsoever how to title my current story. I am not going to give the working title here, because even that is terrible.