Saturday, August 13, 2016

How Blogging Helps

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.

Diane Burton writes science fiction romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. She blogs here on the 13th of each month. She is also a contributor to The Roses of Prose blog, posting there on the 30th. On Mondays, she muses about various topics on her own blog.


Alicia Dean said...

Ah, very interesting that you came up with the title that way. Yes, blogging has many benefits. It's fun, you connect with tons of people, then there are little hidden gems like this. :) Congrats on the new release!!

Kara O'Neal said...

I love how writing can help you get to the bottom of something. It unlocks so much. I enjoyed the post and best wishes on the new release.

Diane Burton said...

Alicia, life is strange, isn't it? Ideas come in unusual ways. I love all the other aspects of blogging that you mention. Thanks.

Kara, thanks. Writing--no matter what kind--opens up so much.

Maris said...

I'm hoping a title comes to me before I finish my wip. I guess if one doesn't, I'll have to do as you did, Diane. I'll blog about the story and hope that brings a title.

Lynn Crain said...

Great story about how you got your title and idea. Isn't it amazing where those can turn up?

Thanks, Diane, I really enjoyed it.

Leah St. James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leah St. James said...

I love those "Aha!" moments. Sounds like the perfect title and a fantastic story. Wishing you much success with it!

Diane Burton said...

Maris, it sure helped me. And surprised me.

Lynn, I'm still amazed at how easy it was--after agonizing over the title for months.

Leah, thanks so much. Those "aha" moments don't come that often. My muse must have been on duty that day!

Judy Ann Davis said...

An interesting post. I struggle with titles all the time. I guess I want to be sure it's not similar to other titles, and it's not so far down in the alphabet that it gets lost in a list, and it's relevant to the novel. Much luck with promotion and sales.

Patricia Kiyono said...

Great post. Isn't it awesome how simply talking (or writing) about your dilemma can sometimes help you find a solution? For my Christmas novella the hero's story was easy to write, but I simply couldn't figure out my heroine's goal, let alone her motivation and conflict. It wasn't until I sat down with other authors to talk about it that the answer came. Thank goodness for our many, many contacts, whether it's face-to-face or online!

Sandra Dailey said...

Good luck and great sales for Mission New Earth, Diane.

Nancy Gideon said...

Inspiration . . . grab it wherever you can find it!

Kathryn Cottrell said...

Kike Leah, I relish those 'ah ha' moments. I also breathe a sigh of relief when they happen. Especially when they resolve a major problem.
Congratulations, Diane. Well done.
Veronica Lynch

Susan Coryell said...

So--blogs are good for so many reasons! I love reading them and commenting and I love guesting on them. I even have my own blog, but it's mostly informational for my own "fans." Thanks for a great post!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

That is a great title!
Amazing how things come to us.

Good luck and God's blessings

Diane Burton said...

Judy, my big concern on this title was relevance to the content. I think I got it.

Patty, I love brainstorming. One person's comment can set off a chain reaction, then--boom--the pieces come together.

Sandra, thanks.

Nancy, I grabbed it with both hands. LOL

Kathryn/Veronica, you must have heard me sighing.

Susan, thanks. Like you, I love reading blogs. I learn so much, sometimes even find new books.

Pam, thanks. It truly is amazing.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Diane

Yes,I love the blogging community - and I always struggle with titles, as a fellow SF Romance writer, I love how yours was resolved, and I look forward to reading the book!

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

I usually don't have a problem with choosing a title either; the story chooses it for me. But sometimes it's a challenge to get it just right. I think you chose just right! Sounds like a perfect Christmas story.

Diane Burton said...

I'm glad someone else struggles with titles, Lyn. Sometimes I waffle right up to the deadline. I hope you enjoy Mission to New Earth.

Lucy, challenging is right. Sometimes I wonder what people were thinking with certain titles. I don't want people to say that about mine.