(HOOK) Yesterday I had a meltdown. Not the check-me-into-a-hospital kind of meltdown, just a rant-on-Twitter, lock-myself-in-a-room, go-through-a-box-of-Kleenex kind of meltdown. I realized I was married to the wrong title!
(BACKSTORY) Before I get too far, let me make it perfectly clear that I am happily married to a wonderful man ~ the RIGHT man. It’s my work in progress—or rather, my work-that’s-not progressing—that’s got me down.
(SITUATION) A couple years ago, we went to visit two of my sons in New York City. The four of us and one of their friends went to a quaint Italian restaurant in Tribeca. The three “boys” (all in their 20s) sat across from my husband and me. My son Ryan’s friend, Ariel, looks amazingly like my son except he has blue eyes. The phrase “the blue-eyed twin” innocently swam through my head. No big deal, that’s all. Except that phrase wouldn’t leave me alone. I wrote it down and tried to forget about it. But it has haunted me for almost two years!
(GOAL) Not only has it haunted me, it turned itself into an entire novel, The Blue-Eyed Twin. Characters were born, conflicts arose, plots thickened, a twist and an ending presented itself! Aha, my next book! Hurray! Bells and whistles, secretly planned book tours and signings… all I had to do was get my brilliant work on paper.
(CONFLICT) But who’s point-of-view was this story? Was, in fact, the blue-eyed twin my protagonist? No, he is no hero. So, his twin brother then? No, not him either. This is not YA; I didn’t want to write a novel about teenage boys. The mother? The father? Omniscient? None of them fit with my hero/situation/goal/conflict/resolution. Like a child who develops talents a mother never fathomed, my story idea had outgrown the title.
(RESOLUTION) The last Kleenex in the box held the answer: Choose a new title and the whole thing works.
(HERO) Me! I am the author, I hold the lock, and I hold the key. If something’s not working, change it!
(THEME) We all hold the keys to our own happiness. Some changes are easy, some are painfully difficult. I’ve lived through both in my lifetime and expect I’ll have more before I die. Life is short and precious. If you’re not happy, make changes.
(ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS) I could not have gotten where I am today if it weren’t for two special Twitter friends. Kimberly Nichols and Taylor Stevens, both responded to my Twitter rants. Taylor, author of the thrilling book The Informationist and currently working on her next book, took time out of her busy day to reassure me I was not alone and this too shall pass. Thanks to both of you.