For some people, the titles of their manuscripts come naturally, and maybe even are planned before they start writing the piece. With my haphazard style though, that sort of planning usually comes last. Not that I don’t care about my story–that’s not the case. For me, the heart of the characters and the core of the story always come before details though, and so that’s what I establish first. However, it’s definitely led to some weird substitute titles in the meanwhile–Seer Story, Piracy Tale, etc.
And when I sit down to the drawing board, more often than not, I can’t detach enough to think of something clever to encapsulate the story I just wrote. I’ve tossed around some pretty terrible names before, ones that would get booed off the stage. My husband has helped me brainstorm in the past, since he’s read most of my novels. Usually between the two of us, or between me and a good friend, something ends up hitting the wall and sticking.
Today for example, I was working on my current novella, a twisted version of the Hans Christian Andersen story, String of Pearls. And until recently, it was just titled String of Pearls for convenience’s sake. However, once I started trying out different thematic titles, I hit a lot of misses before finally snagging that resonant one. What did I come up with? A Soul Solution–kind of an odd title, and a bit of a pun, but I liked how it thematically worked given character motivations, but also worked with the reversal of the character motivations at the end of the story.
So today, I consider my title-choosing a win!
Erik sat in his dank apartment the next evening and gulped down a cup of day old coffee in his pre-club preparation. Mina had gotten inside his head, because last night, and the one before flickered through his brain like a movie reel. He should’ve told her to piss off, and he tried—but all that accomplished was a laugh from her and sparking challenge in her eyes. The problem with that woman was the sheer fact that she understood him when no one else could. He caught it there, the intelligence in her eyes as she peered through his defense mechanisms, and as she battled her way through his barriers.
Look forward to this fairytale, which will be submission-ready soon!
Soon to be hitting your e-bookstores, here’s the cover for Poisoned Apple done by Cora Graphics!
Snow White’s a goth girl and Prince Charming’s a jerk. At least, that’s how this not-so-fairy-tale begins, on Neve’s eighteenth birthday when the child support dries up and her stepmother kicks her out.
Keep your eyes peeled–in the upcoming weeks, I’ll be posting sneak previews and more!
I know this is probably an unpopular opinion, but hey, I feel like it needs to be said. Can we please, please, have male heroes in romance that aren’t these musclebound Alpha males?
Well, Kat, aren’t you a writer? Why don’t you do something about it? Short answer is, I’m trying. My stories hit about half and half, but when I do write strong males, I try to focus on other features/aspects too.
Why is this irking me in particular today? I picked up a paranormal erotica, looking for some fun smutty fun, and while it’s well written and entertaining, the lead male oozes so much machismo I want to gag. Perhaps it has to do with my own personality–I’m a tomboy and not quite shy about being direct and in charge. In fact, I’m a bit of a control freak, so these Alpha males push all the wrong buttons for me. Don’t get me wrong. I can understand some of the allure–girls want to read about a guy who’s going to take charge and rush in and save them–it’s a reprieve from the difficulties of everyday life. As a girl who HATES control taken from me, those type of guys don’t really work for me. While I may not be the majority, I’m sure I’m not the only one. Where are the emotionally self assured guys? The intelligently strong? It could also be me finding the wrong books, sure. I’m just asking for some variety here.
On my end, I’ll do my best to inject some of what I’m asking for in the stories I write. On the flipside though, a strong heroine goes a long way into tamping down that Alpha male-ism.
Let’s just say I’m a fan of variety.
So, here’s a confession.
When I write characters, I usually assign them a zodiac sign. If it’s a character close to home, one whose motivations already make sense to me, I may not need the help, but for some, like Megan in By the Sea, I was stuck. I don’t really think like her character, or hold onto things like she does–but I was able to understand it when I placed a sign with her. I can look at how a Cancer might see a situation or why they’d hold onto things, whether because of the sentiment or the all too vivid memories. Bea from An Airship Named Desire could be nothing other than an Aries. In fact, I have signs listed for every character from Airship because I wanted to make them all as different as possible. I love astrology, but from an objective writer’s standpoint, it also gives great character archetypes. Built in flaws and strengths. Which makes it all the more fun to watch your characters subvert the archetypes, fall victim to their strengths and overcome their flaws.
Man, that was all the motivation I needed to keep writing. : )
“Shifters. The beasts who took my folks away, leaving Mom’s bowlful of incense scattered on the floor and the sharp scent of camphor in their wake.”
Check out the hashtag #FighttheShifters for more info closer to release day!
For all you folks who loved An Airship Named Desire, I did start working on a part two. I’m not going full swing into writing it until my other stories are edited though (String of Pearls and Red Skies Take Warning).
Regardless, there’s a lot to look forward to on the horizon if you enjoyed By the Sea or Airship.
In regards to more romance, Poisoned Apple will be coming out, and if you like some young adult post apocalyptic stuff, Snatched might be up your alley.
In the meantime, I’ll keep working on more stories for you all to read!