I’m currently in the midst of writing out my plan for the novel I’ll be starting on November 1st, and boy are my arms ti– wait, that ain’t right. All part of getting ready for NaNoWriMo, though usually it’s not something I get going with until the middle of October.
Mostly it’s because I knew that October would be busy doing lots of organisation for ML stuff, but it’s also that when the idea grabs you, you want to start on it immediately. Not having enough time to get it written in a normal month (no, November is not normal), writing it in November meant waiting before I really started. I wrote a basic plan, then an embellished plan, then brainstormed ideas, names, places, themes. Wrote bits and pieces of backstory, in notes and some in prose, and also put together a set of playlists that matched the main characters, and general tones I wanted.
In short, I was busy organising.
Since the idea for this particular story was formed, it’s had a clear path through the setting it belongs to, and while the overall ideas are there, the one thing that had been missing was a title. Titles are a tricky beast.
You obviously don’t need a title to start working. If you feel like you ought to have one, you don’t need a good title to get down to business. Ah, but like a fickle five-year-old, my muse doesn’t care about what it needs. It wants a title. A good, or even adequate one. I spent a bit of time writing down words and phrases that came to mind with the story, but nothing really fit. The whole story is about people trying to get away from a doomed existence on earth, reaching out into every avenue they can for an escape. I had bits and pieces like ‘Rise’ and ‘Leaving Earth’ and many, many others, but in the end, none of them really conveyed what it meant.
As with the real planet, mortality in the story’s Earth is a constant. Also as with ours, nobody’s very happy about it being one. We have a bunch of people trying to find a way out, trying to put forward some kind of legacy or mark on the universe that says we, humanity, were here. The one thing that stood out was that few of them were seeking immortality, but an open death; something that would happen well away from the Earth. A new phrase came up, and it grabbed me because it stood out as something different. After that, I thought about the other stories in the setting, and found there were two others that had a similar tone. I wrote out the list of what each story was, and then though this could be a poem.
So I wrote the title poem. It was rough, so I revised it. It needed each line to stand on its own. There was a name I’d always associated with the universe of this world, so at the end, I put that up as the title of the title poem, bringing it back to the beginning. Each line is the title of a story that exists within the setting, some of which have been written or drafted, and others that haven’t been. Whether or not the titles for each remain the same, or if they take ones either based on them, or even wholly new, I’m still pleased with what I’ve got here:
For more than earthly ends,
We fall to new stars
And there will lay our graves.
Each call upward,
Forging a trail to the sky,
And back into the void.
The dark of minds, others and ours,
Taking us to ground again.
If I could but touch the stars,
And fall into them once more,
Perhaps there I would remain.