Thursday, February 14, 2013

Entitled

Over at his blog, my pal Howard Andrew Jones was talking about book titles and how he doesn't have one for his current work in progress yet and how that's bugging him. I can certainly identify. I prefer to have a title for a story as soon as possible. It just seems to make the work easier to nail down somehow. Hard to explain. Of course some titles come easier than others.
   The original title for Blind Shadows was Sudden Shadows, from a line in a poem by Stephen Crane.

   Lo, the walls of the temple are visible,
   Through thy from of sudden shadows.
  
   That went through a couple of changes and James A. Moore and I decided at the last minute that Blind Shadows worked better given the content of the book.
   The entire book Congregations of the Dead came about because of the title. (This comes under the heading of where do you get your ideas.) I was writing a short story called The Dead Abide and I knew that line came from a poem but I couldn't remember the rest of the poem, so I googled the line and instead of the poem, I got this quote from the book of Proverbs in the bible.

   The man that wandereth out of the way of wisdom shall abide in the congregation of the dead.

   I read that line and several visual images hit me immediately and I started thinking of a plot and soon had a big chunk of what the book would be about. You get lucky sometimes. I emailed Jim with the quote and the premise and he was taken with the idea too, and a couple of weeks later we started writing. So yeah, titles can be very important.
   I don't have a title for the book I'm working on now, but I've started mulling ideas, so hopefully at least a working title will come to me soon.

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