Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Unfinished Novel is Finished - What Shall I Call It?

I'm rather surprised to utter these five rather inconsequential words but it appears I HAVE FINISHED THE NOVEL.

To understand the import of these words you'd have to understand I've had a "great unfinished novel" in the works for about 20 years. In most instances I haven't made it past the second chapter. To give an idea of how long this forlorn project has been in the pipeline, on one occasion I lost all my three completed chapters bcause a clutter consultant threw away the floppy disk I had stored it on from the electronic typewriter. Yeah.

Usually I've had the genesis of an idea but haven't known where it was going. I had convinced myself I would never finish a novel and had almost given up on the idea that we all have a novel in us.

 
Ethiopia (Giustino)

The strange thing was I didn't have much of an idea where I was going this time either and I just kept writing. When I hit a dead end I drank brandy or any other nefarious substance I could get my grubby mitts on. Perhaps I should revisit these chapters. Oddly enough thoughts appeared to me at random intervals and I'd run with them.

I'm not deluding myself it's a masterpiece, but it's certainly better than my previous attempts and the plot goes somewhere. Given that I wrote it piecemeal while juggling it with freelance work and a day-ish kind of job, I was surprised it took me only about six months to write 96,875 words. But who's counting anyhow?

I can rely on the folks at writer's group to help me with inconsistencies. One guy pointed out I hadn't given the narrator a name, another girl pointed out the time frame of the meeting at the British Museum is inconsistent. Actually I'm aware I suddenly added two characters in the middle of Africa, who I should in all good conscience go back and introduce.

The other rather glaring omission is the lack of a name for the novel. So I hope my good blog friends can help me out here by suggesting one for me if I provide a synopsis.

I'm trying to avoid the inflated expectations so many writers have before their spirits are eternally depressed by two million rejection letters. But maybe one day I'll be doing book signings in a book shop near you if they haven't all closed down by then.

The life of Philip Brown, a listless 30-something paralegal, is inexplicably changed after he plays a game of squash with Paul Moriarty in suburban London.

His squash partner's taciturn and withdrawn manner hides a colorful past as a decorated former soldier.

A high speed car ride through London to take Moriarty to a rundown part of the city where his ex-wife is staging a suicide attempt from a balcony, brings Brown closer to Moriarty but the ex-soldier remains a mysterious figure.

Finally illness persuades Moriarty to tell his story and divulge his dark and terrible secret that will change Brown's life forever.

xx is a tale of adventure, love and lost civilisations that moves from England to Arizona and the heart of war torn Africa as its characters desperately try to get to grips with the meaning of life, death and war.

19 comments:

  1. What's the theme of the book?

    Is there a key phrase in the book that calls out to be used as part of the title?

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    1. mmmm - not sure Sarah. I am never good at titles but the African expedition is certainly the main part of it.

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    2. How about "Into Africa" then. lol

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  2. I have such respect (and envy) for all you writers!! Congratulations!

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    1. thanks so much Judy and thanks for the follow

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  3. This is wonderful! Fantastic! Spectacular! I am very very excited for you. This must feel beyond fabulous.

    I'll think on a title, but I do have a feeling it will come to you.

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    1. aw thanks Deborah - I do feel you are right..:)

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  4. Congratulations! You were on a roll. To finish it in 6 months (never mind the years during which it was in seedling form)is amazing.

    Title: From Squash to Enlightenment (?) I don't know, I'm thinking "From Squash to" something.

    xoRobyn

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    1. cool thanks Robyn - well it's been 20 years in the making lol

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  5. No title ideas here - but I did want to stop by and say congrats!

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  6. Woot!! Congratulations on finishing it! That's great news. I'm not good with titles either. Since you talk about how his life is changed, maybe "Transformed," or something of that ilk? I'm sure you'll come up with something.

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    1. Thanks Daisy - appreciate the input. I think and idea is coming to me.

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  7. Do it like Gatsby and call it "The Mysterious Moriarty." Or maybe just "Moriarty." Or possibly, "Hugh Grant's a Tosser." That'd work, yeah?
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. Lol - you are too funny. Yeah I'm going with Hugh Grant's a Tosser.

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