Thursday, 2 August 2012

Doing the Tango with Brucie

I'm getting ahead of myself. Although I've just finished chapter 8, I'm starting to think about the end of the process. Book 1 only became "Echo" quite some time after it was finished. Echo herself only become Echo a day or two before hand. Prior to that she'd been called Chorus, after the narrator in some of Shakespeare's plays. At some point over tea one night,  I was persuaded that it wasn't a great name and I changed the names of the three constructs around. Surprisingly I've thought of her as Echo rather than sticking with the name she'd had for the previous twelve months in my head. A day or two later I decided to name the book after my main protagonist.

Throughout the writing the working title of book 1 was Scenario Five.

'Five basic scenarios.’ She ticked them off on her fingers and I noticed that the tip of one was missing. ‘Guard, Hot insertion, Cold insertion, Pursuit and, number Five, everybody’s favourite, Lost contact. Whenever we find whatever it is we’re looking for there are inevitably dark corridors full of traps, xenomorphs, madmen. Danger and destruction.’

At that point the story was basically about the investigation into the loss of contact with a research station. However, as is their want, York's crew get themselves mixed up into a conspiracy that coulddisrobe stability of the Empire itself.

So, whilst book 2 is meant to be about the search for the lost Visionary Ship, the Arthur C Clarke, one of the five ships that carried humans from Old Erth to their new homes, who knows where the story is actually going to go, and I'd be a fool to try and predict it.

It's a bit too soon to start thinking about a title then, isn't it? The working title is "Clarke", but I've taken a fancy to "Outcast". I'm definitely going for a one word title as a theme through the series and currently Outcast is the word for book 2.

I have some concerns. First, that I'll end up tailoring the story around the title rather than the other way round. The other is that I came up with the title after hearing Hey Ya on the radio several times over the course of a couple of days. Not a good reason.

I'm also itching to start work on the cover. I love the work Cathy Helms did for Echo and I've no idea whether she's got any more pictures of Trout Pout and Slap Head or whether we'll have to go with something else as the part that we take through the series. I like themes and it would be good to have something that appears in all, in one form or another.

Of course, I could just write faster so that I can do the title and cover sooner rather than later. But, as a writer, it's as much about the journey as it is the end product. Oh no, I sound like I'm on Strictly (Dancing with the stars for you Yanks). I better stop there before I commit to giving 110%.




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