When people ask about writing and how difficult it must be, I have to reply that I’ve been writing stories for so long and do it so consistently that it doesn’t seem so difficult – yes there are times when I struggle and have to really work hard to actually get the words out, but getting my shoulder to the writing wheel usually gets me out of the rut. The editing is just a slog because you have to be so alert to things which need altering or correcting, things which are so familiar,
The real tough thing is often the title; sometimes it comes pretty early on, sometimes it just arrives, sometimes it comes in a blinding flash; however often there is a great mental wrestling match going on between several contestants.
With the book I have almost finished I had a title from early on, almost before it was written, Saltpans. Saltpans is a house based on a real house – which I have never been in and only seen from outside. I have moved its location – the real house is right bu=y the sea, on the harbour – in my story, it’s on a corner just across the road from the beach. The imagined house has appeared in a previous book – s have four of the characters. That book was ‘night vision’ – and it was another decision I had to make, should I include characters from other books in my Radwinter series? Well, it seems obvious that as in real life, people would bump into familiar faces around town – I’m always doing so in our town of Weston-super-Mare, and we’ve only lived here for seventeen years, unlike my characters who’ve lived all their lives in my imagined places.
So Saltpans, the ideal name of the house, and seemingly an ideal name for the book… but is it. One of the plot lines is Thomas and his wife wanting to move house; Saltpans is beyond their means, so all the way through the narrative there is this dilemma for them… Do I give away the solution to their problem by calling the book Saltpans? If I do, does it matter, or does it seem pretty obvious (unlike my other convoluted plot lines) what the outcome will be? Maybe how the problem is solved will be the surprise for the reader, not the fact that it is.
Saltpans… what do you think?
Here is a link to ‘night vision’:
and here’s a link to the five previous Radwinter stories: