I’m struggling for a title. I have a title but because it’s also the title of an 80′s pop song by Echo & the Bunnymen – and a quite unusual title – I won’t be able to use it. I don’t mind this (well, I mind it a bit) but the first Elementals book had a working title (right up to the point where it was finished in its third or so draft) until Dark Peak landed in my lap again (I’d already dismissed it once but by the time I’d re-worked and edited the book down, Dark Peak was exactly right) so I’m not so worried. I think titles come to you when you most need them.
But it makes it difficult to talk about the book without sounding like I’m dissociating from it or like I have no idea what it’s about. Neither’s true. I will say it’s a tougher book to write than Dark Peak, partly because many of the characters are new and partly because I’ve got to be very careful I don’t re-write history (but they’re the kind of challenges I love!) but mainly it’s been tougher because I’ve been trying out different writing methods. I tried a linear, chronological method where I wrote what came next – but I don’t have that kind of mind. I tried mapping and structuring to know what my characters would do next – I found I stopped caring about what they did next when I came to the actual writing. I tried waiting until the story was finished before I started editing, but the story’s not finished yet and my re-drafting gene was dying a death!
The fact is I write into the dark – for better or worse – and in episodic tranches that get collaged together and edited/re-drafted as the writing goes on. Now that I’ve admitted that to myself once more the book is coming on nicely. The word cloud I’ve added here is the first chapter scrunched up into pretty pictures and lovely words. I had fun doing it – both the writing and the word-clouding. It’s apt because the main Elemental in this book isn’t Stone, it’s Cloud – and her companion is a girl called Cirrus. I like them both. I’m getting to know them pretty well, even though they still haven’t given me a title. But they will. I’ll let you know how we get on.