Monday, July 16, 2012

WHEW! Now that THAT'S done...

Those of you who've been reading my blog for a while may have *cough* noticed that I have a book coming out soon. In a Fix will be released on Sept. 4. (That may not sound all that soon to you, but trust me, it's approaching like a butt-stung bull for me.)

And book 2, Quick Fix, is already in the talented hands of my editor, The Amazing Mel (Melissa Frain) at Tor. I have complete faith in her ability to whip that sucker into shape before it's release next summer.

It's book 3 that's been giving me fits until recently (like yesterday). For some godawful, unknown reason--possibly a touch of writing OCD--I can never seem to get a good start on a WIP (work in progress, for you non-writers) until I have a working title that I like. Which is really kind of silly, because there's never any guarantee a publisher will let you keep the title. They may have their own ideas about what constitutes a title that will, yannoh, sell the book.

Now, I was lucky, because Tor decided they liked In a Fix as a title for book 1, and I'm pretty sure they're going with Quick Fix for book 2. Which is cool, because I would probably never be able to think of them any other way, and it would get awkward if I called them one thing while everyone else called them something else.

But there's no guarantee they'll go with my title for book 3.

(Hell, there's no guarantee they'll even buy book 3. I'm guessing that will depend on how well books 1 & 2 sell. But I'm going to be optimistic and write it anyway, because I love spending time in Ciel's world, and it's fun to tell her stories.)

But back to my little OCD problem: I just couldn't commit to a title in my head. I knew I wanted it to contain the word "fix," of course, for series continuity. And I do have a ton of possible "fix" titles for future books (yes, I am very optimistic about the series going on for a while), but I also need the title to fit the plot of the specific book. And none of the ones I have in reserve were really doing it for me.

Until yesterday, when I thought of ...

FIX IT TILL IT BREAKS

Which will work nicely, I think, with the overall plot of the book. And when I showed it to TG, he said, "Yes! I love it! It's kickass." So there's that about it.

I think it's already working, because I now know where the book will start. I even have a tentative* opener:

"It's not that I'm averse to holding on to something long and cylindrical, even if it does wiggle a bit. But when it hisses at me, I get nervous."

* Tentative because these things always tend to change as I write the book. Who knows what it might morph into before I'm done? But it's a start. Something that will give me writing momentum, which is the important thing at this stage.

So, if you're a writer, how important is it for you to have a working title you like?

Whether or not you're a writer, is there anything you're a little OCD about?

18 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

Holy crap what a great opener! And a FAB-U-LOUS title. TG's right, it is kickass.

I'm back to the blogosphere. Stop by, I'm giving away my "other" book. You might like it.

Jessica Lemmon said...

Love that title, Linda! I, too, am optimistic on your behalf. :)
Titles. UGH. I'm SO BAD AT TITLES. I usually nickname my book something boring and uninventive like THE HOUSE, or [insert character name] and figure it'll come to me later. It does, but only after plenty of brainstorming. And even then I don't usually like it. ;)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Love your titles and opening for number three. Yeah, I get a little hung up on titles, too, but that's only because they matter so much. They set the tone, and provide a tangible platform to build the book on and tie everything together. So, it's difficult to start building until after that platform is lain.

abby mumford said...

i just name my WIPs something generic because i'm not very good with titles and i know they tend to change around a lot, so i'd prefer not to fall in love with one only to have it taken away from me.

character names on the other hand, those i'm OCD about, which is frustrating because i'm horrible with character names!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I love it!!
Yes, I definitely need a working title too before I write. It might change but I still need something decent. I can't just call it something generic. Definitely OCD. LOL
I'm a little OCD about vacuuming and cleaning the kitchen counter. My hubby has called me on it several times. :-D

Delia said...

Great title! I usually have a title right off, but once I didn't. And now I have a whole MS and I can't get it titled to save my life. I'm on the fourth or fifth working title and I still hate it. I like the book, though. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

I have to have a title first, too. Like the title, but LOVE the opening line! Don't change it unless it's an absolute must.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Your opening line made me spit out my coffee! Oh my gosh, that is SO you!

Love the title!

I'm a little like you! I don't make much progress until I have a tentative title. I can even think of a project I started three times. I always identified the problem with attempts #1 and #2 as something character related, but now that you mention it, I changed the title in attempt #3 to something I liked much better -- and never looked back!

Diane Henders said...

Great title! And I love the opening lines.

I'm exactly the opposite. I can't even think about a title until I'm at least half finished writing the book (my WIPs have temporary names like "AK-6"). But I also can't finish the beginning until I've finished writing the end... and I never quite know how the story is going to end until I get there.

At least I'm never bored with the process. :-)

Susan Adrian said...

Oooh, I like it!! FITIB. :)

Jeffe Kennedy said...

I am *often* OCD about working titles and usually know the title before I know anything else. That said, I really don't know the title of the sequel to Rogue's Pawn - and I'm halfway through. I think I won't know until it's done. In the meantime, I've taken to calling it RP2, which feels very action hero to me. ~puts on mirrored sunglasses~

Judy,Judy,Judy. said...

Having read the ARC for In A Fix I want more of Ciel's world, too. Hope it is a very long series.
Like the title.
I always seem to be missing something when I write. I have a natural tendency to make things harder than they have to be. The last book I finished I still don't have a timeline. Going to have to go back in and put that in.
My current work in progress has a timeline and a setting but no title. So far it's not stopping me even though it is fairly annoying.

ashelynn hetland said...

I love that title! As for me, I don't necessarily need a title for a WIP--I have a novel I call "timeline novel" because it deals with parallel worlds and timelines. I know, so obvious, right? :P

Although it IS nice to have a working title for a WIP! especially one that you love. :)

good luck with book 3 and here's to hoping it sells!

KarenG said...

I'm so much happier writing when I have a title and an ending.

Very exciting about your book!

LD Masterson said...

Perfect title. I hope they don't even suggest changing. Great opening lines too. I'm hooked already.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I Love "Fix It Till It Breaks"! Because it sounds kind of dirty! lol you know me, Linda!
I am OCD about posting on my blog once a week, although, as you can imagine, it's been tough lately.
Plan to pre-order your book next pay-day. So proud of you!!

Elisabeth Black said...

No, I'm not OCD about it. "Untitled 7" needs love too, right?

Great title, and your first line made me laugh.

Elise Skidmore said...

Love the title! Love the opening line! Can't wait to read it--now get busy.