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Copyright 2004 Tara K. Harper.  All rights reserved.

Tara K. Harper
August 5, 2004

In which TKH wrestles with titles and points out that they can help to focus a writer...


I would be bored, but I'm working on three books right now, doing all the summer canning and preserving, trying to get an in with a cryogenics company, filing four years of science journals, climbing around on Elk Mountain again, continuing the work on my no-nuts cookbook, and working on a dozen rather elaborate costumes at the same time.  Believe it or not, but it all makes it easier to write.

What's the main problem de jour in my head right now?  Stupidly, it's titles.  The second Nori story, which I'm working on right now, doesn't have a title yet.  Or rather, it has a title, but I probably can't use it.

Why is this even an issue while I'm writing?  Because knowing the title helps me know where the story goes.  It's a focal point.  It's like an arrow that points me toward the end of the story, and points me toward the culmination of all the plot threads, character growths, pacing and tension points.  Without the title, I'm almost lost.  Oh, I can still write the action part of each scene, the sections that don't depend so much on character at that moment, but the scenes won't go anywhere until I know the end, via the title of the book.

Nori's first book is Wolf in Night, which came from the Randonnen saying:

          Wolf in darkness
          Wolf in night
          Wolf in shadow
          Wolf in light

In my head, I'm using the third line as the working title:  Wolf in Shadow.  Unfortunately, it's too close to the first title to be a good book title for a second book.  I know that, as a reader, I can't keep a series straight unless the titles are different enough to remember.  And, it almost requires that the third book be Wolf in Light, which is not really the way I want that third book titled.  So I'm wandering around in my head, trying to figure out a short, 2- or 3-word summation for the entire book, to use as a title.

Yet another trivial title problem that's always in the back of my mind now is that my editor (Shelly Shapiro) has asked me to come up with a name for this new series about Nori.  So I've spent a year thinking about it, and still haven't come up with a thing.  It's ridiculous, but I can't think of a thing.  They're just...Nori's stories.  As opposed to Dion's stories.  And they're all wolfwalker novels.  So if anyone has a better idea...

Copyright 2004 Tara K. Harper

All rights reserved.  It is illegal to reproduce or transmit in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, any part of this copyrighted file without permission in writing from Tara K. Harper.  Permission to download this file for personal use only is hereby granted by Tara K. Harper.

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