Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rolling with Revisions -- Robin

I just finished my first—no, my second—revision of my young adult novel and I’m feeling…well, cross-eyed. Which, I suppose, is better than feeling blurry-eyed. And even better than feeling eye-less, which is a weird thing to say.

Anyways, I love that by the end of my story I absolutely love my main character…Skye. Love, love, love her. I just want to hug her and go shoe shopping with her. So it’s nice to feel that I made a lasting impression on myself. Now on to the rest of the world!

But before I give it to my critique group and then Jay and Eve, there’s one more bit of business I need to attend to: my title. At this point, it’s called Skye is Falling. It’s a good title and I like it...kind of. It was Jay and Eve’s suggestion, and I like them very much as people…so…you know…there’s that.

I feel like a title tells you so much about a book and a good one can make all the difference. Since you all helped Eve with her title search, I was hoping you could help me with mine!

Here are some of the themes in the book: Skye, a withdrawn depressed teenage girl is the daughter of a recovering alcoholic. She spends a lot of time at Al-anon meetings and skips school to hang at a coffee shop. She meets a guy (woo-hoo!) who is a bit of her opposite (very religious, home schooled) and they fall in love (very woo-hoo!). She is basically on a search to find passion in her life and to discover her spiritual side. Oh, and she plays piano and loves crossword puzzles. (Can you believe I stretched that into 175 pages!?) So here are some choices:

SKYE IS FALLING (Thanks, Jay and Eve. Love you guys. No matter what.)
A GIRL LIKE ME (Which is a line she says at an emotionally climactic moment with her guy.)
FAITH NO MORE (Which is a really great band I saw in Athens, GA back in the late 80’s, but could also be a good title.)

Um, that’s all I got. I considered putting the word scrotum somewhere in the title, but Jay gets all fidgety when I mention it. (Great…my parents are reading this and probably don’t know about "the controversy." At this moment, my father is no doubt hugging my sobbing mother, patting her on the back and saying, “There, there.”)

So back to my title search. Will it be Skye is Falling? Or something I’ve never considered? Bring it!!!

- Robin


Steph said...

HI Robin-

I like the premise- and I KNOW someone like that that used to work at Linnea's- well sort of...her world is one completely filled with people in 12 step programs- everyone recovering- perpetually....anyhow- that's a whole world unto itself (AA and alonon and all of those things...). In college I went on 3 dates with a guy in AA and he always had to have someone from AA there with us. Those worlds both (very religious and 12 step)seem so isolated/insulated from the bigger world...Now, my world, on the other hand, is perfectly normal (HA!)

Anonymous said...

Robin, I like the Jay and Eve recommended title on one hand since Skye is falling; however on the other hand for just a second it conjures up images of Henny Penny which might give a lighter tone than the book intends. Here's some thoughts:
"Searching for Skye"
"Finding Skye"
Good luck.
I like the idea of using Skye's name in the title

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great story........


and lastly

~~ Laura

Anonymous said...

ugh. blogger moved my letters!
the words are "crossworded" on the proper letter.


Becky Levine said...

I really, really like "A Girl Like Me" -- I think it's closer to how your main character (who I don't actually know all that much about!) would see HERSELF, rather than how others might see her--somehow I think that title gives me a feeling like I'm already stepping a bit closer in to who she is and how she feels about things.

Also, it just feels a bit more like the titles I'm seeing on YA books these days. Skye is Falling feels (sorry, Jay & Eve) a little more like a book title I might have read when I was young--way back in the seventies! :)

LindaBudz said...

I'm terrible with titles, but just wanted to chime in that I like Skye Is Falling and A Girl Like Me. Either of those seems terrific!

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. You were always such a good girl. Where did this potty mouth come from?


Disco Mermaids said...

If you think "scrotum" is a pottymouth word...then you're part of the problem.

:-) Robin

(And by the way, I confirmed with my mom that the previous comment did NOT come from her. My real momma KNOWS I'm a good girl.)

Don Tate II said...

My suggestion is to work the word "scrotum" somewhere, secretly, into the title. Then, the story won't matter anyway. I love the name, Skye.

Natalie said...

Okay, my first choice would be: IT'S RAINING CATS AND SCROTUMS...incorporating the idea of "sky" and "scrotum" in the same line, which is what you're going for, right? (hee, hee!)

If not that, I do like SKYE IS FALLING, but I also thought of REACHING FOR SKYE, since she sounds a little lost in the first part of the book, then finds herself by the end. But that's only if you don't go with the whole scrotum theme, of course.


Anonymous said...

Very good post--and good comments from folks, too! To me, it's the "IS" that makes SKYE IS FALLING feel out of date--I guess I like SKYE FALLING or FALLING SKYE a little better for that reason. And I like the crossword-design idea, with some combination of "Skye" and another word, that Laura suggested, although of course we'll leave the design to the publisher. :-)

At first, A GIRL LIKE ME felt too familiar, hard to make it stand out from the crowd--but the longer I sit with it, the more I like it.

Other phrases with "sky" in them that might work:
SKYE LIGHT (sounds like the low-cal version, though, har har)

Okay, now I'm doing that thing where "Skye" looks weirder and weirder the more I type it, and I can't tell if that would have happened with "Sky" as well. Is it because the name looks odd when you're looking for a word you know and an odd spelling is there instead, or is it just that thing that happens when you type a word over and over again? I dunno.

Maybe A GIRL LIKE ME is best after all.

But you know, the main thing is using a title that you feel comfortable with right now--a publisher may well want to change it even if you adore it, so think of it as a place-holder so you don't become too married to it, and choose a place-holder that feels solid in your mind. If you're going to end up just calling it SKYE or SKYE'S STORY or A SKYE STORY anyway, what's the point of putting another title on it? No matter what, I think you don't like SKYE IS FALLING, or you wouldn't have brought this up in the first place, so keep listening to your gut!


Disco Mermaids said...

Great ideas, everyone! And Erin (who also happens to be my awesome agent), I love your idea of considering this a "place marker" because it can all change.
I think Becky nailed what I was thinking about the title, that it sounds dated and it seems the "is" is the problem. I agree.
So much to think about now! Thanks y'all!

linbinwrites said...

Skye Free Falling or

Skye Falling Free