What's In A Name?
I’ve always preferred novels (or any design object) with simple and clear titles. Stephen King’s IT, as an example, is perfect. It’s hard to get shorter and that phrase captures the essence of the book perfectly.
My first three novels had simple titles: Ultra, Honeysuckle and Mech and I intended for my fourth to follow suit but I haven been able to get it right. I started with Mechanics, then shifted to Obsolescence, then Transmission and finally Mechanical Intelligence but none of them felt right and I always advocate listening to hunches. Those 1000’s of hours you’ve spent reading and consuming media is all in there, tucked away. You ignore it at your peril.
But I was stuck.
There is a definite “physician heal thyself” idea of a writer not being able to write a good title but there’s a reason why millions are spent on marketing each year, a catchy logo or tagline is tricky. So over the last four or five months I’ve thought about this a lot.
Maybe for this book it couldn't be such a simple line so I started to look at other media as well as novels and one I kept coming back to was The Good The Bad and The Ugly. This is a literal summary of the film and it’s three characters but its hard and simple language also summarizes Sergeo Leone’s approach to the western - no nonsense, just like the west itself.
I applied that approach to my book. It deals with two sections of society, the obsolete left at ground level and the rich living in the tips of mile high towers. That striation is the foundation for the trilogy so seemed a good place to start.
So the new book title?
“The Streets and The Skies.”
Sure, this may change but It’s been a month and I like it more the longer it goes so this one may stick. It has everything I want. It’s short, clear and captures the nature of the book. We shall see but for now I’m pretty excited that this may be it …