All right, I'll get this out of my system. Cari might have won (or however you spell her name), but watching Bo sing Sweet Home Alabama with his fav band was waay cool. Can't wait to buy that guy's CD. Rockers rock!
Now perhaps on Tues. and Wed. nights I shall write, haha.
Okay. Back to the blog thing.
C.J. commented yesterday about writers who talk about “thirty books in their heads just waiting to be written.”
I feel about such writers the same way I feel about women who waltz through pregnancy, never sick a day in their lives, and the baby pops out after two pushes. I want to strangle them.
As for Becky’s comment . . . I wrote two pages yesterday, okay? How’s that, Miss Rebel BG? That makes five whole pages so far this week. When I should have written 18, but hey, who’s counting?
By the way, a couple days ago registration opened for the ACFW conference. Who’s going? Hope all of you can make it. I’m thinkin’ if enough of you writers out there show up, we should have ourselves a secret Forensics and Faith BG sign. You know, some gesture you could make across the room to a fellow BG. Or to me, to let me know you take the time to read my blog. That way I’ll know to scrape the floor in front of you, saying, “thank you, thank you” for not leaving me hanging all alone in cyberspace.
So, where were we in our NES? Oh, yes, I was stranded without a plot. Sort of like I am now.
Back to last fall of 2004, traipsing around on the Bill, Bell and the Babes author tour. Weekend one with marketing Sue, who asked, “You got a title yet?”
Weekend two—“gotta title yet?”
Weekend three—you guessed it.
Here’s the thing about my book titles. I pride myself on them. Yup, I’ll admit it. (I’m needing some uplifting at the moment anyhow.) My titles aren’t just tacked on. They are always carefully created. They must work rhythmically, be intriguing, and refer both to the main plot and the underlying spiritual thread. Lots of “musts” there. Hard to get it just right. And--this is why asking me to name a title when I didn’t have a story was totally foreign to me.
When I got back home after the final weekend of the tour, I had a serious talk with God. Told Him if He didn’t want to give me a plot just yet—to stretch my faith and all that—I really did need a title at least. Then He and I would have to work backwards—weaving a story around the title.
Let’s see. Brink of Death, Stain of Guilt, Dead of Night, and . . . I needed another “Hm of Hm” title. Each “hm” a one-syllable word. Had to be punchy, scary-oriented. So I started writing a list of possibilities. Out of Time . . . On the Edge . . . Nick of Time . . . Stroke of Fate . . . whatever came to mind.
Next I wrote the ACFW loop, seeking input. I listed some of my ideas, asking for the loopers to pick a favorite. I also asked for further ideas, but their titles had to follow the “Hm of Hm” format, as well as sound sinister.
I’ll tell ya, those wonderful ACFWers listened about as well as BG Becky. They sent back scores of ideas, all right—with two- and even three-syllable words. Oh, well, gotta love ’em for trying to help me out.
All along, the title Web of Lies stood out to me best. And most of the respondents who chose among my titles also liked this one. I was praying through this whole process, asking God to bring the right one to the top. After all the input, this one still seemed right. Web of Lies it was.
I happily e-mailed Sue with my answer. Also told her—"don’t ask me nothin' more about the book, ’cause I ain't gotta clue yet."
Now for the plot.
Let’s see. I had Chelsea with her visions . . . Annie with her forensic art . . . something about a discovered skull . . . and the title. Hoo-ah.
In the back of my mind two things were cooking. First, something that had happened at the ACFW conference—a moment that really got my heart. Second, the word “web.” It could be used figuratively, as it often is.
Or it could be used literally . . .
Tomorrow—the unabashed, behind-the-scenes recounting of my scientific and highly inventive approach to creating this story.
Read Part 61