Before writing last month’s post, I didn’t have a good title for my sci-fi novella. Usually, I don’t have that problem. Titles generally come easy for me. A couple haven’t, but none like this one. The story started as a short story on The Roses of Prose blog, called “Christmas in Space.” Considering my story was the only science fiction and the others all contemporary, I felt out of place. A non-conformist.
But, as I’ve written before, the story stayed with me. I wanted to know more about these characters who were about to embark on a one-way trip to a planet far, far away. In fact, so far away, it was out of our solar system. I admired the bravery of the six astronauts, much the way I admired the real astronauts who’d ventured so far into the space between Earth and its moon. Only the real astronauts knew they were returning—returning to friends and family. My fictional astronauts weren’t.
Even worse, at least in my mind, they would be put into cryosleep for 99% of the trip. I mean, what’s the use of traveling out of our solar system if you don’t get to see where you’re going and where you’ve been? I’d want to see Neptune, Pluto (even if it isn’t a planet anymore), and beyond. If I felt that way, surely my characters would.
Getting all these thoughts out on blogs, helped me understand what my characters were going through. Writing the story was not a problem. Coming up with a title was. I went through various ideas, none of which set well with me. I asked writer friends for help. Though they gave good suggestions, again none resonated with me. Or made me feel as if it would work.
Finally, I had to title last month’s blog post here. Easy, peasy. I talked about their mission. They were heading out to explore a Goldilocks planet for Earth’s inhabitants, a place of refuge for those living on a dying planet. They were determined to find a New Earth. Hence the title of the post, “Mission to New Earth.”
That’s when the lightbulb popped on over my head. Mission to New Earth was a perfect name for the book. Forget the Christmas angle (though that’s still in the story). It was more than a Christmas story. Besides, more religions were represented by the astronauts than Christianity. In real life, astronauts come from all faiths, all nationalities, all races. Why would my characters be any different?
So, thanks to posting on this blogsite and others, I’ve learned more about my story than doing character analyses, filling out personality charts, or any other methods of learning about my characters. Perhaps it’s reducing an idea to 500 words that really helps. It made me focus on what’s important.
Mission To New Earth, which will be released on August 31st, is available for pre-order at Amazon for 99 cents. https://amzn.com/B01JXZR0AK