August 13, 2014

The Less You Think, The More You'll Solve

I have been in a major rut for the past month or so as it applies to my writing. Even though I have 3 books out (book 1, book 2, book 3), I'm still in a quandary on what to do next.

For example, I was doing a monster rewrite of a novella with the working title Creative Inaction and was making very good progress, when I decide to switch gears and work on something different. That something different was reworking book 2 because I had received the rights back to a few months ago. I knew I needed a new name and a new cover, and I wanted to make it an e-book only release. However, after spending a fruitless day trying to reformat it, I gave up and decided to have a professional do it. Since finances are squeezed tighter than a guv'ment official speaking the truth, it got put on the back burner (however, a resolution is imminent, so stay tuned).

So to refocus my brain on something else besides redoing book #2 and writing, I decided to do a little editing, or rather, note taking. I took out an old novella that I'd completed about a year ago called Blackness In The White Sand (note, it contains a link to a nasty excerpt on my adult blog) and began taking notes, mostly of the grammar variety (i.e. highlighting poor sentence structure). While I was still very impressed with what I wrote, I still had the very sticky problem of trying to come up with a brand new title (roughly 2 years running).
This past weekend, I decided to a little more editing/note taking, since I was still hip deep in this writing quandary of mine. So I grabbed all kinds of implements of destruction (2nd draft of this novella, pen, paper, soda) and made a beeline to the great outdoors. I took up residence in my usual spot, and proceeded to while away the minutes editing/note taking.

Roughly twenty minutes in, I came across a name typo, which was really strange, since roughly a year ago, I went through the entire manuscript and changed the name from Ashanti to Shadow. The typo name was Alezi. Not much of a name to think about at first glance, so I crossed it out and wrote the proper name. However, some several minutes later I got to thinking about the name, mostly how it sounded better than what I had. The more I thought about it, the more I became disenchanted with the current character name.

So I went to the synopsis (I had printed a copy of the synopsis) and wrote the name down as a possible substitute. Then I got to thinking about the name I used for the female MC in the 2nd novella (the one with the title problem), Nikia, and how it sounded better than either of the previous names. Then I got to thinking about how I originally wanted to make some kind of trilogy with my novellas, which in turn got me to thinking about a new title for Shadow's Vengeance.

Roughly two minutes later, my muse smacked me in the head with a proverbial 2 by 4, because she introduced at least three viable title variations based on the name Nikia, that would work extremely well for a trilogy. Thus, by not actually thinking about the long term problem at hand (a new title) and focusing on something else, I came up with a very solid solution to the problem.

Misdirection. It's a good thing.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Your brain went to work and found a solution for you.
    I'm crappy with names as well.
    Have you found someone to format for you at a reasonable price? We have a couple listed at the IWSG site. I don't think any of them are expensive.

  2. Alex: It took me well over a year to come up with a new title for the novella, so it was definitely better late then never.

    I'm usually pretty good with names, but I'd originally changed the name on advice from a respected writer/editor who pointed out a potential problem with the original. The more I thought about the new name the more I began to dislike it.

    I did find one via Smashword's Mark's List who will format both print and e-book for a reasonable price, but I will check out ISWG as well.

  3. If a title for a song I'm writing doesn't come straight away - almost as the song is being started, then it takes me ages to find something and I'm never happy with the end result.
    Good tip to go away and do something unrelated.

  4. Fil: As a rule, I'm horrible with titles for my stories simply because my titles have a major disconnect with the story. This is the actual rarity, which I'm hoping to turn into a regular occurrence.


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