I wanted to name my next novel, The Terror.
I started planning in in the autumn after a disturbing dream I had–or to be more exact, a dream in which I was watching a disturbing movie. Upon awakening, I kept thinking about this idea and within days it had usurped the plans for a different novel that I’d been jotting down notes for over the previous few months at that point. A couple months later, I started writing the draft, not having a whole lot planned but enough to get a good start. And I knew it might be long. The structure of the story naturally divided it into three parts and I was not sure if these parts all together would be too large for a single novel, or it would be best as a trilogy. All the cool kids have been writing trilogies these days, as you know. Well, I just finished (as in within the last five minutes) the draft of the first part, and it’s a nice short-novel length–pretty much the same as how The Year We Finally Solved Everything ended up (although that book started out being almost twice a long as the version that wound up being published).
I wanted to call it The Terror because the book is meant to be a little disturbing, just like my dream. It’s mean to be dark and relatively devoid of humour, especially anything explicit. I wanted the cause of the terror to be ambiguous for a long as possible–perhaps for all of it. And I really hoped that it would end up being terrifying. Those are lofty aspirations for a guy who’s written several choose-your-own-adventure novels involving janitors, teachers, and pharmacists. By no means am I saying that I think I’ll accomplish this (and I’m far from being finished), but that’s what I hoped for. And a name like The Terror seemed perfectly suited, perhaps not for what the novel would be (I won’t know that for another year or more) but what I wished it could be.
And about a week ago I found out that a guy named Dan Simmons had published a book called The Terror some six years ago. It currently has 551 reviews on Amazon. So… I guess that means it’s taken.
Anyhow, I’m now leaning towards a title I used for a science-fiction novel I wrote back in 1999-2000 and never released, called How the World Ends. What I’m working on has absolutely nothing to do with that plot, but my new story does have elements of science-fiction to it, and the title is stingily appropriate.
Crap! A guy named Joel Varty has published a book called How the World Ends some three years ago. It has 12 reviews on Amazon. Not as major. No offence, Joel Varty, but you’re not as established as Dan Simmons. Maybe I can still use it.
Anyhow, I’ve finished the first part of my next novel. I’ll probably release it in parts and then one big novel, but I’d like to complete a draft of all three books before releasing anything. It’s always tempting to publish things as often as possible on Amazon, but that doesn’t mean it’s something anyone should do.
And so until I have something more to say (like I’ve finished the second book), I’ll probably shut up again for a long while. If you ain’t got nothing to say…