Sunday, January 18, 2009

Titular trouble
Aside

I was happy to share my title ‘Past Imperfect ‘with Joan Collins but now Julian Fellowes has just published a book using the same title I’ll have to find another. Drat the man! I have a tendency to err on the soppy, poetic so have tried to avoid that and whittled it down to three.

‘Journeys end…’ a Shakespearean quote – ‘Journeys end in lovers meeting’. RC Sherriff had a very successful play – years ago but spelt differently – ‘Journey’s End.’ And it was aeons ago. There is no copyright for titles incidentally.

‘Adieu Tristesse’ A quote from Paul Eluard. Daphne (side –bar) will remember that Francoise Sagan used ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ for her novel – again many years ago.

‘Tears before bed-time’ this is something my mother constantly warned me would happen when I got over –excited. She was always right but it has a double resonance.

Agonising over the query letter today, I couldn’t help wondering what on earth gave me the idea I could write. Back to the drawing board.

28 comments:

The Preacherman said...

You call it what you want babe!

Anyroad you where her first so sod him!

You could call it The Number One Porn Site and get mega hits!!

er....maybe not...soz...vodka....

Kim Ayres said...

"Modelling, Nursing, Yoga and Orgasms - A Love Story"

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Oi, it's not just Daphne who knows stuff around here; I remember reading 'Bonjour Tristesse' when I was doing O level French. It is a shame about Julian Fellowes but the thing about titles is it doesn't matter what you choose because your publishers will want to change it anyway. So I think any of those three would do fine as a working title. In fact I have heard that agents and publishers like it if you put 'working title' on your submission, because it shows you're flexible and have some understanding of the industry. So don't lose heart, Pat, OK?

Zed said...

How about:

Pat's Past, Present and Future.

I dunno, just a wild attempt.

PI said...

Manic: now why didn't I think of that?

Kim: not quite in the right order but who's counting?

Zinnia: oops! It's your fault looking younger than you are and I know you are better read than most folks, with all that goggling you don't do:)
Working title is a good idea - then I'm not committed and I am very flexible - think of all that Yoga. Thanks for the comfort.

scarlet-blue said...

Good grief... I have comment block, let alone writer's block...
Sx

Kevin Musgrove said...

Bonjour Tristesse was required reading for a generation of young women. The grammar school girls read that and Jackie; boys read The Colditz Story and naughty books supplied by Henley in class 2C.

Dandelion said...

I really like option three.

PI said...

Z: that's sweet of you but I'd like to get away from tenses - MTL was bringing out weird and wonderful ones - and the book actually finishes in the past.

Scarlet: there's a lot of it about - I blame January.

Kevin: thanks. '67 was way after my time at grammar school.
I remember the shock on my cleaner's face when she found a naughty book in one of the boy's bedrooms.

Dandelion: good girl! It's my present working title.

Keith said...

How about "My Life without Keith"?

Eryl Shields said...

I wonder that all the time, Pat, you aren't alone!

I like number three too. I recently met a novelist who has just discovered Nick Cave is making a film with the same title as the book he's been working on for some years, he's now trying to think of something else, so you're not alone there either.

Can Bass 1 said...

Were I a man of letters, I would take inspiration from the Book of Common Prayer. I know one those of those writer-lassies has already 'borrowed' some of his words, but there are plenty left. And he's out of copyright (not that there is any copyright on titles).

PI said...

Zed: sorry honey - I'm getting my Z's confused.

PI said...

Keith: oh no! That would be too sad.

Eryl: It really helps to know we're not alone doesn't it? Simon Trewin told me not to give up, some months back so I 'aint gonna:)

Can Bass: I think that is an excellent idea. Which writer lassie I wonder? I can't remember the name of the one who wrote about Cathedrals and Agas.

rosneath said...

I remember reading Bonjour Tristesse when it was published - I tried Jean-Paul Sartre, Colette and Georges Simenon at the same time. I thought it was dead trendy to read only French writers! Well, I was only 14 or 15!!

With regard to the working title - what about sticking with the tenses/grammar (these do get sillier and I have made some of them up, sorry!) ...

past participle
past conditional
present continuum
secondary gerundive

Cheers
belleek

apprentice said...

Mmm I think you can do better than these Pat, you story is unique to you and deserves its own title.

I can think of anything that lives up to the story, but something on the theme of a gift deferred, maybe
"this time" or how about "a model release"

Keep brainstroming it, you'll get there

Nil Zed said...

I am sad that you have to change your blog name, becuase I have it listed right next to Present Simple (http://presentsimple.blogspot.com/) and I like them there together.

Do you really have to change it, surely he can't claim rights to a common phrase like that?

PI said...

Belleek: please don't tell me you read them in French? Yes you did have fun with the tenses didn't you:)

Anna: thank for the kind words and for giving me more to think about. Decisions decisions!

Nil Zed: no I'm not going to change my blog name - never fear. He couldn't make me and I'd like to see him try!
It's the title of the book I'm trying to get published and two books with the same title, at the same time - roughly - would be confusing.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

TEARS BEFORE BEDTINE...without Question--THAT IS IT...
For one, there is an old play called Journey's End--wouldn't want people to confuse that....and ADIEU TRISTESSE seems somewhat obscure to me..BUT, "Tears Before Bedtime" is just a fabulous title, in my humble opinion, for whatever it is worth....It is intriguing and a "feeling" way that appeals to me...

Mei Del said...

you've had no end of ideas now and all i have to say is i think you definitely can write - people like me who discover you late and while their days away exploring your blog and cathcing up on your past is proof!

Deb said...

I like Journeys End :-)

PI said...

Naomi: very good to have your approval.xox

Mei Del: that is really great to hear.

Deb: I have a soft spot for all three but just have a working title for the moment.

rosneath said...

Sorry, this is going over old ground but there is an autobiographical book by Elizabeth Smart called 'By Grand Central Station I sat down and wept' ....

What about 'By Charing Cross Station I laughed and jumped for joy' ?


belleek

PI said...

Belleek: this made me realise that the heartbreak started at Moseley Street Bus Station and ended at Charing Cross. Food for thought.

sablonneuse said...

For what it's worth I rather like 'adieu tristesse' and also 'journeys end' because I think they both say more about your story than 'tears before bedtime'. However, whatever you decide to call it I'm going to buy the book.

PI said...

Sandy: I just hope there will be a book to buy:)

Nea said...

My mum always said "It'll end in tears." when we got over -excited, and it nearly always did.

"Working title" sounds like good sense...for me it's still PI.

PI said...

Nea: Mums tend to know what they are talking about.
At least I don't have to make a definite decision yet - maybe never - but I don't want to believe that.