Serious question about titles

Please help me decide? Which sounds better for a YA fantasy series about magical, elemental, fairies who fight against the imbalance in the world:

1. Fairies in the Wind

2. Aer Faydom

3. Aer Auri

Part of the Auri Series.

Aer can be replaced by ‘air’. Auri are the big non ruling rulers who keep things in balance.

Yes there is a reason for the use of air!

I think I’ve got a basic cover idea.

I’m slowly giving up on the idea of ever getting an agent, and leaning towards self publishing.

Which title is most striking? Which would you most be likely pick up to read?

Distractions

I was typing away happily when I found myself distracted by the strangest thing.
I was writing a key discovery scene between two characters. I got to a sentence which I finished by saying “he mumbled.” The word mumbled triggered a thought of, ‘someone was called mumble, who was it?’
Some animated character was called Mumble. I was pretty sure it was an animal also.
Now this has absolutely nothing at all to do with my story. But I was still thinking about it. It was something that was bound to keep bugging me until I had solved the mystery.
So a quick google search later and I discover it was the main penguin in Happy Feet.
I don’t know what that says about me that I get distracted so easily, and make these random connections.
Back to writing now.

Split focus

Lately I’ve had so many ideas bouncing around my mind it’s been hard to focus. 

I’ve technically got two projects on the go. I had been writing another story with a friend – but due to busy schedules, I was the main one writing. In general the story was my idea but my friend came up with some really good details. But then I put that on hold while I got pulled in deeper into my second fairy book. I’ve regretted putting the other one on hold because I really liked where it was going and the characters. But I felt that my own needed more priority. 

I’ve of course written some short pieces that I’ve put up here, which haven’t distracted me too much. 

But there are two short pieces that keep nagging at my mind. One is the dystopia that I published here a while back. The other is a short story that I wrote for my writing group and the theme was Halloween. 

The latter story has been on my mind lately. It was originally a spin-off of a short story that I had written for English class back in high school. The theme had really interested me, and still does apparently. 

The other night – while trying to sleep, which is apparently my favourite inspirational time – I formulated the character properly, and the detail of her gift/curse/whatever. So the next morning I wrote down something. It was only about five lines, but it’s a pretty good opening in my opinion. But now I’d have to think up the rest of it which is slightly daunting! 

I just don’t know what to do! I can’t focus on so many stories, especially not now as I’m going to be going back to uni soon. I won’t have time to write on my second book never mind three other stories that keep running through my mind. But if I don’t write it down the ideas won’t stop. Or worse I’ll lose the ideas. 

Real dilemma. 

Naming troubles… again

A few posts ago I mentioned my struggles in naming my characters. But that’s not the only place I’ve struggled with names.

At the moment I’m having trouble naming my book. 

I’ve been through several names, and there have been issues with all of them from different people.

The name I’m using at the moment feels too childish for a YA novel: Fairies in the Wind. 

I was originally using Aer (like air), but it was suggested that it was too vague. Then I tried Aer Faydom which I used for a long time, but when I was at a course everyone agreed it was too difficult to pronounce. 

I’ve submitted under all three names and not had any luck yet (obviously). But this might not be because of the title, but as that’s the first thing they see it’s very possible. 

And as I was discussing with another blogger, I have a placeholder name for my book of Fairyland. Placeholders are really the most obvious and unimaginative names ever!  

Another option I’m thinking of at the moment is Aer Auri. I was using Auri as my series title. (Auri as in aurum as in the latin for gold like AU. They are not quite the rules but thereabouts)

Any thoughts?

 

Writing regularly

This is one thing I struggle with. I can’t get into a routine to write. I write as and when I have time or feel like it. Very bad I know. 

I recently read a book that helped me. This book by Rachel Aaron, ‘2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love,’ changed one thing for me that has helped. Of course, I’m nowhere near writing 10 000 words a day, I can barely manage 1000 a week. But the one big piece of advice I took from that was plotting. 

For my first book, I pretty much winged it. I had a vague idea of what the story was but, as I wrote it, it became something completely different. I don’t know how well that worked for me – but judging from the amount of rejections I’ve gotten, I’d say it didn’t turn out so well. 

Anyway, for the second book – which, incidentally, relies on the first because it’s a series – I have a much more concrete timeline. What the book helped me realise is that I should be plotting each scene before I write it. I used to hate the thought of that kind of planned out writing, but since I actually tried it, I’ve found that I’ve been writing more.

The other advice, that is probably obvious, is to find where and when you write the best. I’ve found the best place and time for me is on the morning I have to go to work first thing in the morning – due to many reasons I end up there an hour early, so I take either my laptop or iPad, which ever I feel like lugging all the way there. The quiet, distraction free environment forces me to write. There is internet access, but I don’t have the same need to surf the net as I do at home. I haven’t tried other early morning locations, but I probably should. 

But it’s like I wait for that one day to do all my writing and forget about the other 6 days of the week. 

I guess it’s just about finding what works for you and making sure you stick to it. 

Villains

I saw a post from a fellow writing group member about his villain and it got me thinking.

I don’t have a villain in the sense of someone everyone loves to hate. So many villains are actually liked, and in some cases they are liked more than the heroes.

Don’t get me wrong, I have antagonists, just no love to hate people. In the next one, I’m writing an annoying good guy. But again no love to hate bad guy.

I’m now wondering how important this kind of character is?

Often the key to building this character is forcing sympathy, showing the backstory, and how they got that way.

In a way, this love to hate person is liked because they have flaws. They aren’t put up high on a pedestal and out of reach. They are – in some cases – more relatable.

This is something I’ll need to think about some more.

Naming

I’m on a roll this morning writing, when I’m pulled short. I would have stopped soon anyway, because of work and all that, but this was more abrupt. I’m stuck naming a new character I’ve just introduced.

The one thing I’ve found very difficult is naming my characters. I’m writing a fantasy story, so I’m using made up names. It’s the making up bit that’s hard. I’ve played many computer games in my time where I’ve had to name the people in the game so I’m fine with real world names.

When I very first started writing my fairies, I used plant-like names. I’m glad I’ve changed since, because I’ve been reading other fairy books, and they all use flowers etc. I then decided to go back to what my 10 year old self came up with, and used that idea for naming them.

(I should add that what I’m writing now, has it’s roots in a story I tried to write when I was a child. Back then I’d created the characters, but couldn’t formulate the story.)

So when I decided I didn’t like the plant-like names, I used initials as stand-ins. It took me until I was about halfway to find names that stuck. 

But now as more characters are introduced I need to make up new ones.

Such is the struggle of writing! 

Writing Challenge

A few months ago, a friend of mine ask me to join him in doing a writing challenge. At the time I dreaded agreeing to to it because I thought, “Oh no how can I possibly think of new stuff to write every time.” He told me the first task (he had a book for prompts), and at first I didn’t even understand it, then when I did I panicked because it was similar genre to what I was writing.

Then I calmed down and started thinking about it. One day at work the idea struck and I wrote it out. It was challenging to limit it to 500 words, as I’d really love to expand it. So I wrote it and sent it to him before the deadline, and eagerly awaited his. It never came.

Anyway, I found, much to my surprise that I actually enjoyed it. I had tried to do something similar on another blog (which eventually fizzled out), but having someone interested in reading it helped motivate me.

I know writing is supposed to be for enjoyment, not recognition, and it is when I’m working on my books. But writing these short posts I like to have an audience.

The door post was inspired by a photo someone I used to know had taken (I wish I could share it). I might share pieces I’ve written before, or new ones if I’m inspired. Next post will be the one I mentioned above.

Maybe I’ll get the book that came from and do the challenge myself. Hmmmm

Writer’s mistakes

Yesterday I realised that I had made quite a big typo in the writer’s group blog that I run. Not only did I make the mistake in the written part, I made the same mistake in the link.

It got me thinking how easy it is to make mistakes and miss them in the proofreading. How often do we find mistakes in published books?

The problem with reading through it, is that we might not spot a mistakes if the middle letters are mixed up but the first and last and number of letters are all the same. There’s a test that goes around to see if you can read a paragraph if all the middle letters are mixed up. And you can, if maybe a bit slower.

I seem to have a vague recollection of something like this mentioned in my third year of psych.

And nowadays, we have the added complication of autocorrect. Even when we put the right word in, the computer or other device changes it to something completely different.

So what am I getting at?

We all make mistakes, even top authors and their proof-readers.

Expanding my online horizons

Yesterday in my writing group, we had a guest speaker, author Kathryn Freeman. She was lovely! We really enjoyed talking to her and hearing her great advice.

One of her biggest suggestions was to get ourselves set up online.

Now for me this was fine. Some other members are bit reluctant but they get the importance.

So I was thinking, I have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, so I’m fine right? But then I realised that I don’t have a website and blog.

Hmm that was a problem.

I have recently – as of last week, in fact – created a website for our group. I took on the task because I was one of the more techo-comfortable in the group and I had the most time on my hands (which in theory is fair enough since I only work part-time, but lately I’ve been working 2 people’s part-time jobs and so not so much time). But anyway, I took on the task because, hey, it’ll be good experience at the least.

Turned out to be lots of fun actually! I took photos to put up, played around with the photos to make (in my opinion) really cool and fun logos and headers, and then played around with layout.

So where am I getting at? Well after having done all this for my writing group, and after last night’s meeting, I have decided to create my own website and blog.