The Way of the Word

27. January 2011

Novel in Progress: Die Young – Shaw Returns!

Naming the babies.

Finding a title is, for me at least, always one of the more difficult parts. I listened to the James Bond title songs and settled on two and a half soundbites. One from Goldeneye by Tina Turner, A Bitter Kiss. And the others from A Vew to a Kill by Duran Duran: Sounds of Broken Dreams, or the more complete Fatal Sounds of Broken Dreams. I put them up for vote on my Facebook page. A Bitter Kiss got 3 votes, Fatal Sounds of Broken Dreams got 1 vote.

To be honest, I like A Bitter Kiss better too. It’s shorter, easier to remember, and not such a mouthful. Just typing it here, I had to actively resist to abbreviate it as Fatal Sounds. And A Bitter Kiss works nicely, because the first victim gets poisoned.

But. (Isn’t there always a but?)

In parallel, I was trying to figure out character names. Specifically, the name of the first victim. I played around with some names, but I was never quite happy with them. Everyone has some favorite names, and I kept falling back on those. You could say it’s the Charlie – Christie – Cassidy problem. They are similar enough to get mixed up if you don’t pay enough attention.

Somewhere along the way, I thought of a really bad pun for the first victim’s name: Diana Young. Di Young, get it? I’m sure you do. It’s a stupid enough pun that it made me chuckle, and I was this close to actually using it.

Then it occurred to me that Die Young would be a terrific title for the novel. It means I can’t use the name for the character, but I really like it as a novel title. So I’m going to use it. To be honest, I’m glad that I thought of a good title for this one. I like A Bitter Kiss, but it would work far better as the title for another Shaw novel I’ve got notes for.

So, Die Young it is. At least as a working title, until (and unless) I think of something I like even better.

And maybe I don’t even need to change the character’s name. Maybe it just spares me the effort of driving the pun home by always referring to her as “Di.”

By the way: according to the stats, there is quite a bit of interest in this workblog. If you’re curious about this second Shaw novel, I suggest you might visit Amazon and get a Kindle copy of The Coldest Blood, the first Shaw novel. It costs less than $3.50, meaning you’d pay less than you’d pay for most  standard comic books, and you’ll get a lot more reading out of it. Plus, unless more people buy The Coldest Blood, I’m not going to publish Die Young, meaning you’ll never get to read it. Which, as I mentioned, is currently the plan. I’m writing Die Young only for myself, but economic interests might sway me to change my mind.

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