Title Nights

A title night is a night when I switch off the light to go to sleep then switch it on again five minutes later to write down another 'ideal' title that I've thought of. Then I have to google it to see if anyone else has thought of it, but after that, everything gets switched off again. Ten minutes later, on again. Then off again. And so on. Have you had nights like that?

I've finished the second draft of what, for the time being, is still Aulani. It needs more work, of course, but the title is driving me crazy. I remember this from the other three novels that I've written. The same thing happened and it seems that, at least for me, this is a necessary stage on the way to finishing. It forces me to identify not only what my novel is about (which by this time, I know), but more importantly, what its main focus is. And, if possible, I want a title that says more than it appears to say - just like the picture above does (or at least, I tried with it - if you look closely, there's a woman and a cooker inside the pumpkin).

My novel - in no particular order and including both major and minor items - is about the following (like the titles, I'll probably keep changing this list):

  • a child being thrown out by her mother
  • love and care given by strangers
  • accusations of sorcery
  • torture and killing
  • fate and free will
  • comparison of places and cultures - Papua New Guinea, Australia and UK
  • growing up
  • liking to look nice
  • sexual attraction
  • working out who to trust
  • payback
  • belief systems and the fact that what you believe alters how you behave and these actions have far reaching consequences
  • the difficulty of changing someone's beliefs e.g. it's not possible simply by presenting a few facts
  • the special powers that people sometimes have
  • manipulation of people's beliefs for both personal and political ends
  • tangled family connections where people don't know to whom they are related
  • identity
  • betrayal
  • wanting to study and have work that is interesting
  • wanting to understand why people behave as they do
  • the complexity of people
  • family bonds
  • a character who feels real but whose behaviour is baffling (I understand the others but not this one)
  • tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner
You might be surprised to know that I do have a synopsis and one that makes sense, but it's not the same thing as looking into the depths of the story which is easier to do with a list like the above. Ha ha. I think it is. I'm hoping.

Even more surprising is the fact that the story is finished, completely written and yet I'm still wondering what it's about. But I am and it's the seeking into what's below the surface that I am learning from. As though I've still got something to tell myself that I haven't quite seen yet.

I go up and down like a yo yo in relation to this novel. I'm briefly (and I fear it may be very brief) on an up, so I'll post this before I hurtle down into the depths once more.

I hope that your own writing is going well and send you the very warmest best wishes to speed you on your way.
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If you're interested, there's a Title Nights Update and Title Nights - the spirits of the dead and Title - got it! I think..., as well as my latest post on HOT Be fearless - write your truth (all added on Tuesday August 13th, 2019)

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