It’s nearly there. I have completed editing, barring two things.

1) I have created a technology for the story that I am not totally settled on a name for. I need to select one and go through, making my choice uniform throughout.

2) I have picked out a few invented slang words for my characters to use, but I only did this late on in the writing process so I want to go and drop one or two more of those in early on. Though I must stress, I am not going to be putting these everywhere as I feel that would be tiresome. Only where they truly fit in.

That aside, the editing is done. I have also drafted my query letter to send on to an appropriate agency. I’m very happy with the letter, I feel it provides an appropriate level of information about myself and about my book, isn’t too long-winded, and should intrigue the reader enough to want to actually see the story. Well, that’s the intent…

But before I can put the query letter into action I have two further things to do (on top of the very minor editing outlined above):

1) Write the last five pages. This is quite important really. I need to have the book ready to go, even though the website for the agency I am intending to approach says they only want the first three chapters, I still feel I should have the whole thing done. If only to clear my head. And it’s five pages – come on… I can write five pages, right? Well, it might be six, I don’t know. It might be four as well, so there’s plenty of ways of looking at this. All the important stuff has happened, it’s just about wrapping it all up and sending the kids off for ice cream and ginger ale… wait… it’s not a Famous Five book, is it?

Anyway, that brings me onto the thing that is really bugging me, above all else, about this whole thing, and that’s number two on my list…:

2) The title. I don’t like it. I never have, not from the moment I conceived the book(s), at no point during the writing process, and not now I am about to send it to people in the hope of changing the course of my life…

It was always a holding title. A title that was there so that there was one, always in the knowledge that it wouldn’t be the final title. A phrase would jump out at me, a sentence in the book, something would make an obvious case to be the title. But nothing has. My title is bland, perfunctory. It does not stand out, jump up and down or slap you round the face (though the latter might be a blessing). It sounded like a ‘place-holder’ from the very start.

But worse than that, it sounds like another ‘place-holder’ of a title.

I have skirted around the issue of what I am actually writing up until this point. It’s for children is about as far as I have gone. Now I’m willing to drop a few more hints, the first of which links very nicely with the ‘place-holder’ mentioned above…

In 1977 one of the most successful films of all time was released. It was called Star Wars. Except it wasn’t. Technically, it was called Star Wars: Epsiode 4: A New Hope. Which meant the film itself was plainly A New Hope. Bland. Not even blandly enigmatic, just bland. Tedious. It makes me want to yawn. In fact, I will. And so should you. Go on, yawn at the title right now. Got that out of your system? Good, maybe you won’t yawn at mine too…

You see, my book is in the realm of Sci-Fi (or Science Fience, for those of you not in the know). It is the first part of a multi-part series – though I am starting with book 1, not like Star Wars. And my first story is currently called The City Of Hope. You yawned, didn’t you? It was just as you got to the H in Hope.

What does that title tell you? Nothing, that’s what. There’s a city in it. And that city has hope. Why is hope needed? [Ooh, maybe there’s intrigue] Hope’s always needed. [Maybe not then]. It doesn’t fill you with any deep-seated desire to get stuck in, does it? What about Voyage [or Journey] To The City Of Hope? Do either of those work for you? They still do little for me.

Even more infuriating is the fact that as I neared completion of book 1, I started thinking about book 2, and I already have a title I am totally happy with. It fits perfectly, it sums up the intrigue and excitement I want. It’s just perfect. But horribly tormenting. Why couldn’t it be like that with book 1?

It’s interesting how different projects and different titles work. I previously devised a television drama series. It was about conmen. Two conmen, in fact. It was a six-parter, one long story told over all the episodes, and it was influenced by the great Paul Abbott series State of Play (in terms of realism and structure). In fact, I even got to meet with Abbott’s then agent who told me she very much enjoyed the script and wished me all the best while I desperately hung on her every word, hoping for an offer to fall forward. Anyway, that series was called Pros & Cons. I could only start work on it the moment I had the title. Up to that point I had so many ideas and nothing to hold it all together. The title unified it.

I think with everything I write, there has to be something that unifies the projects – the moment it is suddenly ready to write. For Pros & Cons it was the title. For The City Of Hope it was the moment I figured out the ending to the entire series. I didn’t need to know every other step of the way, I just needed the very ending in place and it was a goer. But God, how I wish it was the title, because I need one right now…

You know…

…Sometimes…

…It’s funny how cathartic this blog can be because over the course of writing this entry an idea has sprung to mind. It’s not perfect. The book would need a little tweaking to get it to fit. But then most of that tweaking could be done to the few unwritten pages at the end of the book. It would fit with some earlier themes. Maybe…

I’m not totally sold though…

What do you think of How To Fill A Black Hole?