Monday, 13 February 2012

New novel

I'm working on a name for the novel, I really am, but it still seems to end up being called '2nd book' or the new novel. I'm working my way through Mslexia's 'Choosing a Title' exercise, mostly because I think a title helps me narrow down what it is I'm writing. I've heard arguments that titles don't matter but actually, when I'm selecting a book, the title is the thing that helps a book stand out for me. Then the blurb has to intrigue, then the first few pages not disappoint...

Talking about the first few pages, the Good Housekeeping competition has simple rules:
  • A synopsis of the whole book, of 2 pages or less.
  • A single chapter of the novel of under 5000 words OR no more than 10000 if the chapter is more than that.
  • A 100 word bio of the author.
  • The entry form, accessible here.
My problem is that the first chapter of my book is under 3000 words, and although it does promise the intrigues to come, it is limited since it's less than 3% of the book. So, ideally, I would construct a first chapter of maybe 8-9000 words that really sells the story. It's a chance to show off my writing - so I'm trying to cobble together something that does the job. It has to lead the reader deep into the mystery, into the characters and their conflicts, and show off the actual writing. I can't do that in less than 3000 words (there's no guarantee I can do it in 10000 either!) So I'm looking at the structure of the book to produce the best competition entry, rather than necessarily the best opening to a book, without losing the fact that it does still work as the beginning of a book. Phew.

I still have to have a title for the book... watch this space.

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