So, here’s a dumb thing to be thinking about: it really bugs me that I still haven’t come up with a decent title for the second book.
The first book named itself almost immediately. I was so paranoid about it that I threw a one-word code name on the drafts, like it was a Game of Thrones script that needed to be handled with absolute secrecy. (Ha!) Along the way, some people got a little too attached to the code name, but that name was never going to work. It wasn’t entirely unrelated, but it wasn’t really an option, either. The point is, I never stressed about the title, because it presented itself very early in the process, and years later it still felt right.
I used to slap titles on short stories once they were finished — I figured the best titles always popped up once you could see the whole picture, and usually, that was true. I’m trying to apply that attitude to the second book, but I can’t help wondering why #1 was precocious and #2 is being recalcitrant. I fiddled around with a few possibilities that sounded cool for maybe a nanosecond, and then gave up and slapped another code word on #2 for now. Hopefully, it’ll work itself out. It usually does.
Like the series title, for instance. That was a problem, too. I couldn’t get a handle on it until I was well into book 2, when the big picture started to really come into focus. As I was writing, a few new pieces of information popped up, and the series title presented itself the same way the title of the first book did: it hit me over the head and then stood over me, gloating. I resisted it at first, but the more I turned it over, the more I realized that there was no way I was ever going to come up with something more appropriate.
The brain gnomes are probably loving this. They’re always happiest when they’re screwing around with me.