I’m Alive, I Swear (Or, Twirly Tries NaNoWriMo)


I recognize that it’s been a while since I’ve published a blog post. And by “a while,” I mean “an embarrassingly long time.” I keep telling myself that it’s okay, I’ve been in full-blown novel mode–and I needed to be. And while that’s true, it doesn’t excuse slacking in other areas of life.

Ah! Novel Land; my new home. It’s a lovely place, lush with foliage and opportunity. But also, like Eden after the Fall, a place with thorns in the ground, where work is not only available, but required. Sometimes, Novel Land is a very unappealing home–so I take detours to Television Station and Lunchtime Haven. They’re lovely places to visit, but ultimately not very productive.

Enter National Novel Writing Month: A time and place when and where writers, like myself, disappear into cocoons of words and hot beverages. I’ve written almost 12,000 words in five days, and I have never felt more accomplished. However, I fear that I might not be writing a novel–that, in fact, this particular work won’t reach 50,000 words. I’ll be ejected from Novel Land to Novella Straits! But, really, who cares? Once I’ve finished my story (and that’s the real goal, after all), I’ll have made a huge accomplishment.

Then it will be revision time, which is just as daunting as the aforementioned word count.

After that will come querying, which is the most horrifying prospect of all.

But I digress.

Now that I’m writing a book-length project of my own, I’m having thoughts about how I’d like it to look when it comes into physical being. I know this is silly, since such things will be out of my hands once I’m under contract. But, as a second-tier creator, I’m allowed to have feelings about titles and book covers, right?

For example, you know those books whose covers are photographs with the heads cut off? Those make me nuts, especially when the clothing can be easily dated. Sometimes, the covers with faces are just as bad. So I suppose that means that photographs are straight out. Skylines are okay, I guess, but my story isn’t set in any easily recognizable city; so that’s an issue. Cartoony things are fine when done right, but, poorly executed, are just cheesy.

What I’m saying is, I want a cover that’s kind of abstract and colorful; one that says “sweet college romance” without screaming “GIRL MEETS BOY!!! FLUTTERS AND KISSES!!! GOOEY GUSHY LOVEY DOVEY!!!” (Incidentally, I don’t think there’s going to be any kissing in this story. As of now.)

Which brings me to titles. If it ends up being my decision, I will publish my book under its working title. I like my title. To me, it’s a good balance of quirkiness, honesty, and (if you’re very clever) wit*. It hints at the end without spoiling anything, while being a fair representation of the story as a whole. Always the Best Friend. In my heart, this title is The One.

But The Industry might beg to differ. Who knows?

That question really sums up my being right now: Why knows? I don’t know how long or even how good this project will turn out to be. I don’t know if I’ll ever get published–and I don’t know how involved I’ll be in the process after my work has left my hands. But I’m actually creating something. My work is becoming more and more concrete (thanks, in large part, to NaNoWriMo). And that, in itself, is gratifying.



*It’s a play on an old phrase. If you know the phrase, you’ll probably get the reference. If not, you won’t. I still think it’s a pretty good title in its own right, though.

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