Oh wow. What an editing marathon. Have you ever had a title for a book that became a self-fulfilling prophesy? For me, this one was it! It was a chapter book entitled “Welcome to My Life of Doom” and will come out sometime later this year with Pearson.
And boy was it ‘Doom’! My life became Doomed! It was all doom! I couldn’t get it right for the editors! Each time I tried to replot scenes, they all seemed so weak… Not funny. Ineffective… (at least according to me. And my husband… sigh)
I’d never had this much trouble with a book. Ever! I tell ya, this book has more rubber in it than a Goodyear Factory. Three times it bounced back and despite having heard from my gorgeous editor that she loved the final version, I’m still a wee bit scared to clebrate! My nightmares will be filled with a giant rubber ball of doom rolling over me… Squashing me…
So, who’s to blame for this Doom? Me.
Sometimes, and this is despite 60 books, we authors get it completely wrong. And apparently this was one of them. Is it now a stronger book? Yep! No doubt. Is it funnier? Absolutely…
That title became something of a joke with me because I really did feel like I was doomed with this story. So, I got to thinking about other books I’d had trouble with – or not. One I remember was entitled “How do you hide a Crocodile”, and while I looove that story, the essence of this story remained hidden to me for weeks!
How did I find it? Well, it seems it was hiding behind a larger than life secondary character who was hogging the limelight and my poor main character was standing around watching her. The thing was she was so colourful that all the humour was coming from her – and the main characters were reduced to mere bystanders. Story Suicide!
So, I solved that problem by sending that secondary character off to Peru! (As you do.) She was still important to the story, but with her communicating from Peru and off centre stage, so to speak, my main character and his sidekick could get on with being the heroes I knew them to be.
And the story started working. And the humour was coming from the right direction and the reader could finally be a part of the adventure instead of standing passively to the side.
On the other hand, my friend Marie had a totally different experience with one of her titles. Dream run, no problems, fell into place like a magnetic-edged jigsaw puzzle. And what was this book called: Crystal Clear!! LOL!
I loved that story.
So, is there a moral to this post? Yes. And I can sum it up by declaring here and now that my next book will be called, “Sunshine, Lollipops and My Editor Loves My Book!”
What? Me Superstitious? Ha!
So, how about you? Have you ever had a great or bad experience writing a book that was somehow reflected in the title? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment!