Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's complicated

I haven't done any writing in several months, not serious writing. I did rework "Couples Skate" for inclusion in an anthology called Cupid's Secrets (which you should consider buying or at least borrowing; not all the stories will be to your taste, but I can almost guarantee you'll love "Horngry" and "Two Gods Walk into a Bar"), but other than that, nada.

And why haven't I been writing? Well, it's complicated. My real-life life has been pretty unpleasant these last few months, and I've also been channeling a lot of energy into a different, vanilla project (which none of you will ever see - sorry!). I get obsessive about things, but I only have a limited amount of obsession available; and it's been going in a different direction than writing.

But suddenly that's changed. Even while I wasn't writing, I was thinking about which story I wanted to work on next. It was going to be "Avatar" - which, of course, will have to be retitled now - but I wasn't too enthused about the project. Then last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I started to think about "Sucker Punch"; and suddenly a host of fun, new ideas presented themselves to me. That's the story I need to work on next, not "Avatar." I'll be shuffling and, in a few cases, totally rewriting scenes, and changing the brainwashing method into something more appropriate for the Flash Gordon satire that this story is.

I need a better name, though - something along the lines of, "The Final Adventure of Doctor Theodore Steele and his Intrepid Assistant Franny." But as amusing as I find that title, I think it might be too long and weird to attract new readers. Tell me what you think. If you didn't know my stuff already, and if you were browsing Amazon for a good EMC story, would a title like that pique your interest or turn you off? Let me know in the comments.

EDIT: It's evening now, and I've done a lot of work on the story already. It looks like I'll be rewriting huge chunks of it, but that's a good thing because I have some fun ideas. What's not such a good thing is the length: I'd forgotten how short the story was. I'll have to combine it with a couple of other short ones ("If Wishes Were Horses" and "What to Expect from Your Alien Brainwashing") to make an anthology. This also means I'll need a title for the whole collection, so I think "The Final Adventure...." will work fine as the new title of "Sucker Punch." As for the anthology, I'm currently toying with the idea of "Kinks in the Space-Time Continuum," but I'm not set on that. What do you all think?


K said...

Titles are always tricky. Honestly, I've always viewed titles as varying on an author to author case if it wasn't something that just struck immediately as a "huh" situation. Like with Jukebox there was the curiosity on how the story was going fit the song he title. With Dresden Files I'm more interested in the book, but there's the curiosity about the title's relation such as one being called "Dead Beat."

For anthologies I find it off putting to blatantly put when it involves a kink. Don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with making it clear in the subtitle I just don't think its good to flat out state its a kink in the title.

thrall said...

Thanks for the input, and I agree about The Dresden Files not needing attention-grabbing titles - but that's because of their reputation, and Jim Butcher's reputation. At this point in his career, he could name his next Dresden book "Book" and still sell millions. I can't do that. I need an attention-grabber. And since my potential readers are kinky motherfuckers, I feel like I should put "kink" in the title. ;-P

I'm still willing to be convinced otherwise, though.

K said...

I don't know I found "Book" far less of a slog to get through than "Academ's Fury" in the Codex Alexera series. :p

Seriously, I don't think there's too much of an issue with weird titles. At least so long as you can make sense of them in relation to the story they're attached to. Seriously Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge was one of the more disappointing films I've seen in a while. For god's sake look at that title does that sound like a romance to you?
As for the title of the anthology well is there any sort of unifying traits for these stories beyond erotic, and science fiction? Granted looking at the current working title I'm tempted to say "A Kink in Time," but that feels a bit too much like a play on "Wrinkle in Time."

thrall said...

"A Kink in Space" would be more accurate, since all three stories involve outer space, but I just don't see that as a good title. Thinking in that direction did get me to "Kinky Spaces" and "Kink Space," but I don't think much of those titles either. So this is what I have so far...but there's plenty of time to go before publication.