Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Tiff with Titles

So I've been going back and forth on titles for my Chicken Little story. It will remain "The Day the Sky Fell" until I decide for sure. Yesterday "A Piece of Sky" was winning, but today I'm leaning toward "A Crack in the Sky," especially since I've been using the phrase somewhat frequently.

So I put up a poll, since I know you all care a great deal about my crap. :D

Meanwhile I've been invited back into a writing group--I don't usually do writing groups on my rough draft work, as I'm writing it--I'm focused on getting the book done, so I don't want to hear about its problems until the first draft is complete. But writing groups are good, and I like the people, and it doesn't require me to drive 40 miles like last time,* so . . . I'm going to try it out.

What are your thoughts on writing groups, by the way? Do them right away, or wait until you're finished with the ms?

*Did I mention the time I got pulled over whilst driving home from writing group? The FIRST TIME EVER that I've been pulled over, and how it's scarred me for life? Can't remember. . . .


  1. I think "A Tiff with Titles" should be the title for GRRM's book on writing, if he ever writes one. Hehehe...

    When it comes to writing groups, I usually don't workshop an entire project at a time; just snippets of various projects in a disjointed way. Usually, I'll only workshop the first chapter or opening scene. The once-a-week format doesn't work well with novels, I think, since people get upset when their installment for this week is a character they're less interested in than the others, and it'll be a whole other week before they get back to the character they love. If I want feedback for a novel overall, I wait until the whole thing is finished and send it out all at once to first readers.

  2. Very good point. It's also easy to forget what happened in a previous chapter, since said chapter was read several weeks ago via the once-a-week meetings. I've had problems with that as both the writer and the reviewer.

  3. Rough drafts make me cranky, I've decided. Usually what ends up happening in workshopping my rough draft as I write it is that everyone points out all the flaws I already know about and then I feel awful about myself. XD

    But during school it was great to do Sanderson's class because then I had an excuse to write for the class and so that meant I DID write instead of waiting until summer.

    That being said, my writing group found serious flaws with my writing AS I was writing it that I was unaware of. This meant I was able to catch them as I went instead of needing to rewrite the whole thing once I was done with my rough draft.

    (Things such as - my anti-hero wasn't likeable enough. More anti than hero, etc. This needs a cold audience in order to tell, it's not something I could tell for myself.)

    And unlike Joe, I know you hate revising. :p Joe can rewrite a whole book no problem, so that's something to keep in mind. If you want to revise less, you should probably try to catch as many mistakes up front as you can and take care of them as they come instead of waiting to the end. It's slower going that way, but it is possible.

    One of my writing buddies here got her rough draft saved by things people pointed out while she was writing/workshopping it. She would have had to rewrite the entire thing otherwise, since the flaw was so fundamental it would have taken that big of a revisal to fix it.

    The caveat is that sometimes it's hard to figure out if what a writing group says is wrong is actually wrong. It's easy to know when something is wrong when you and the group both say the same thing, but when you're at odds it's hard to figure out what to do when you're in the middle of writing the thing.

    Hopefully the above makes sense. There's points for and against workshopping the rough draft. Just to confuse you more. ;)

  4. I don't hate revising--by all means, it's easier than drafting! But that's true--workshopping now -could- save me a lot of revisions later.

    Thanks for the input!

  5. Regarding titles:
    I could have sworn I read the first chapter of a book recently titled "A Crack in the Sky," but then I looked it up and it's actually "A Crack in the Line."
    But there's a book called "A Crack in the Sky" as well. =P
    Personally I like the title "The Day the Sky Fell." It sounds like serious business.

    Regarding writing groups:
    I think it's nice to get feedback on your first few chunks of your book, but I think it gets a bit tiring after that. In my experience, my writing groups have the same sort of comments to give on my writing every week (generally). Not that that's a bad thing, but I think after a few weeks and a good understanding of what you need to be working on most, it's best to just plow into your book and wrap it up. Then if you're lucky, you'll have some alpha/beta/whatev readers to look at the book as a whole.
    And, quite frankly, *everyone* forgets *all* the details of each other's books with a week-break between each (randomly-sized) chunk. It becomes a bit of a hassle to try remembering even basic things like "who is this guy again?" (AKA the main character) for five different books every week. Let alone the dozen side characters for each book.
    It can still be fun, though. My experience has been a bit different with each writing group I've been in. Largely depends on how dedicated everyone is.

  6. Oh. Look at that.

    Well then, that title's out. :D Thanks for finding that!

  7. I'm not one to share my serious writing until I'm finished with the novel. I think part of it is insecurity -- I need to believe in my book in order to complete it, and there's nothing more disheartening than to have someone look at it and go "eh". I say, get it written, then get it read.

    I do think a writing group is a great idea once you're done with the first draft, though, and I know it definitely helps with edits to get fresh eyes on the manuscript. =)