IT’S NOT ALWAYS PRETTY – LOOKING INSIDE A WRITER’S MIND

DOCUMENT CLUTTER… BEEN THERE, DONE THAT?

OR, WHY IS IT SO HARD TO COME UP WITH A GOOD TITLE?

~*~

I have a problem with document clutter.  Well, more than one but my main problem is multiple revisions of a document because I keep doing a ‘save as’ in WORD every time I am inspired by what I call the ‘title of the moment’.  I very rarely start a story with the same title that I end up when I finish – Revenge Will Wait for Another Day is one exception – so as I progress with my story, I will think of ‘the perfect title!!’ and instead of closing the document and renaming it – I don’t want to lose my momentum – I ‘save as’.

At one point while writing This Will All End In Tears, I had eight revisions saved under different names.  You have to admit, that is kind of dumb, right?  Especially when you consider that I am not exactly a novice when it comes to Microsoft WORD.  Anyway… where was I?  Oh, yes… that ‘perfect title!!’ isn’t, so… I save… and save… and…you get the idea.  Why not just give my story a generic name and then when I am finished, add the title?  That’s a good question.  See, I can’t really write the story if there isn’t a title that has something to do with the story.  It would bother me.  Is that a bit anal?

There is an upside… sort of.  If I somehow lose, as happened a few weeks ago, the latest draft of a document, I usually have a prior version somewhere on the computer, so I don’t have to start over from scratch.  Once the hair-pulling and eye-gouging urge has passed and I do NOT reach for the bottle of Stoli tucked behind the Weetabix and Special K with Chocolate, I shoot Tina a look that could freeze fire – “Really? Now you choose not to understand my writer’s angst… do you have a death wish?” – and pull up a prior revision and get back to work.

Also known as taking a deep breath and pulling up my big girl panties!

Now… what is this thing with titles anyway?  I swear, it is almost a physical pain sometimes, trying to get just the right title to come out

I wrote a guest blog for Paul D Brazill some time back, when I had just started out on my writing career – “Wow! A real, living breathing AUTHOR asked me to write a piece for HIS blog??”  I’m sure I swooned a bit!  So, I ‘fired up’ Bella… my laptop and constant companion… and before you could say, “Wow!  Is that a thousand words already?” I had my piece finished… except for a title.  For what seemed a small eternity, I agonized over a title. Titles have been, and continue to be, my ‘Achilles Heel’.  I kid you not… I can write a 3,000 word story in the time it can take to come up with a good title.

Anyway, with a deadline fast approaching and my stubborn refusal to settle for anything less than a clever and catchy – in my mind, at any rate – title, I finally came up with this….

“Coming Up With A Good Title Is Like Excoriating My Flesh”

I thought the title was very appropriate because… I swear to you… it would be less painful to scrub the top three layers of flesh from my entire body than to come up with a good title sometimes  Methinks the girl doth exaggerate, you say?  You have obviously never felt my pain.

I just finished the [hopefully] final draft of a 4,000 word story for a disaster anthology and while I thought I had finally come up with a good title – yes, I have deleted the four prior versions from my hard drive – I am now not so sure.  The title isn’t really doing anything for me… maybe I’ll just name it Story Number 96.

Does anyone know of a support group for the ‘story/book title challenged’?   My therapist has declined to start one, and for what she charges, that’s probably not the best idea I have ever come up with.

But, getting back to the clutter…

How do you all deal with the not-so-limitless – who would have thought a 180GB hard drive on a laptop would ever NOT be big enough? – space on your computer for all your wonderful and not so wonderful (but keeping as a reminder of my less-than-brilliant flashes of inspiration) creations?  Maybe there is some other stuff on the hard drive I could get rid of.

What’s this thing called Windows?  It seems to be taking up an awful lot of room.  Do I even use it?  Maybe I could get rid of Windows…

~finis~

© 2012 – Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw.  All Rights Reserved.

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About VeronicaThePajamaThief

Bio: Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her wife, Christina Anne, call the Pacific Northwest home, where the couple are “still very much on honeymoon!” When not teaching and finishing her own studies for a Masters in Sociology, Veronica writes fiction, primarily noir - "I love dark!". Her long fascination with noir fiction prompted Veronica to try her own hand at writing fiction several years ago. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology and Gloves Off: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology. Veronica has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine and her horror/urban fantasy short story SOUL TAKER was recently chosen for inclusion in Lily Childs' february femmes fatales, an urban fantasy/horror anthology. Veronica counts among her mentors - Carole A Parker, Lily Childs, Paul D Brazill, Richard Godwin, Joyce Juzwik and Vicki Abelson. She is currently working on the third draft of her first novel – a memoir – as well the second draft of her first fiction novel, a fantasy novel and the publication of a collection of her flash fiction and short stories. Lily's The Feardom and Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write Facebook writing group have both been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for Veronica. Veronica’s writings can be found athttp://veronicathepajamathief.blogspot.com/ andhttp://veronicathepajamathiefwritespoetry.blogspot.com/, andhttps://veronicathepajamathief.wordpress.com/
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2 Responses to IT’S NOT ALWAYS PRETTY – LOOKING INSIDE A WRITER’S MIND

  1. I know exactly what you’re talking about!!!! Titles are also the bane of my existence. I can write a huge post that flows like melted butter from my fingertips, but when it comes time to pick a title, I sit and agonize for as long as it took me to write the post in the first place! It’s horrible. I now have an official editor for a new writing job I just got (yay!), and she’s always patiently suggesting, “Can we tighten up the title a bit? Do you have something more catchy?” and I never know what to say!
    P.S. I love that your laptop has a name, too. I like naming inanimate objects.

    • Congratulations on your writing job!

      I am so relieved to know I am not the only one who has trouble with titles… whew! I love your way with words… “… flows like melted butter from my fingertips…” 🙂

      Tina bought Bella for me shortly after we got together. She knew even then that there was a lot I needed to say… things I needed to get out. The fourth ‘e’ of why we write. Writing became an integral part of my therapy. Bella and I have been through a lot… she knows my darkest secrets… many of them before Tina knew. I could never have told all those secrets to an inanimate object, so…

      I haven’t hired an editor yet for my memoir novel – I want to finish the third draft before I hand it over to the ‘red pencil’ – , but I do have a title and I’m not going to budge on that! 🙂

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