Serena J. Cavanaugh :: Blog

October 8, 2009

The Writing Life II

Filed under: The Writing Life — Tags: , , , , — serena @ 12:34 pm

The Problem with Titles




So, I finished the first draft of my second novel! (applause, gasps, sighs)


Now for the hard part – the edits, the volunteer reader comments, the …. (drumroll) TITLE.

Lucky are those authors who get their titles first and then write the book around the it. I guess I’m just not lucky.


My working title, as you know from my “Novel” tab, is Ships at a Distance, which refers to dreams that never make it to the shore, so to speak. The problem is that my novel doesn’t take place on a shore or in a coastal community… the characters don’t even visit the beach, not once.


So, I axed it.


Now what?


I got the idea to browse through Shakespeare.


You will not believe all the turns of phrases that have already been taken.

 East of Eden,

Band of Brothers,

 The Winter of our Discontent… that’s just a few.


Damn. Well, at least I know it was a good idea…


I also searched through Alexander Pope, Wordsworth, Donne (my personal favorite) and Blake. I got a few and here they are…. Any votes are welcome.


Welcome? What am I talking about? I need your votes!


Loves Comes Quietly


Not in Our Stars


Given Unsought


Seasons of the Soul


No Choice by Forward


The Sum of all Choices


Love is not a Victory March


Hell Bent on Fate


Surrender the Soul to Fate


A Heart for Any Fate



What I’m Reading


How to Write What you Want & Sell What you Writer by Skip Press

An interesting and informative read for those still in the dream phase of writing. I (ahem, ahem — only wasn’t doing two things that I am supposed to be doing) Bummer, he mentions nothing about how to get traffic to your blog.


Andersen’s Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen


There’s no reason to read any other fairy tale collection… and Disney’s Little Mermaid  looks like a spoiled, selfish punk compared to her sweet predessor: the original little mermaid.


  My Life in France by Julia Childs with Alex Pre’homme


If you saw the Julie and Julia movie and loved it… you will find the true heart and charm of the movie in this book.


  1. I like the first choice - a lot of the rest sound rather martial (everything after the first 4), and I don’t know that that’s what you want either. Maybe read through a little Bronte for inspiration? It might fit.
    Really, as long as you have the title by the time of publication? Right? Right?

    Comment by Rachel — October 25, 2009 @ 7:01 pm

  2. Rachel, I did find one in Wuthering Heights, which I read twice while suffering from the Swine Flu. Wine through Water, which Catherine uses to describe how certain dreams have changed her. I thought it might apply to certain people who change you, which is what my book is about… right? RIGHT?

    Comment by serena — October 26, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  3. I liked No Choice but Forward. But what do I know about titles.

    Comment by S.Herbst — October 26, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

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