Jessica Day George

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hello, Editing Fairy!

Yes, folks, the editing fairy has laid another egg on my doorstep. Literally.

Our UPS guy is a NUT.  You can hear your package smacking down on the doorstep even as he's ringing the doorbell, and in the time it takes to walk across the living room and into the little entry and open the door, the dude is back in his van and driving away.  DRIVING AWAY.  In less than one minute.  I'm not sure if he hates me personally, or is agoraphobic, but even when  I have been standing IN the entry when I hear the box drop, I have not been able to see his face. 

So, he threw a padded envelope at my front door and ran again today, and I opened it to find:

Black Wool Chain

The manuscript complete with millions of tiny little editorial suggestions from my editor.  This is a long-awaited arrival, though, so I'm not complaining.  According to my contract, I was actually supposed to have edited it and turned it back into Bloomsbury by last Saturday.  So I've actually been wearing a hole in the floor with my pacing, wondering when it was going to come.  And, for once, I'm really excited about this edit.  I've been a bit of a whiner in the past: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow was a touchy subject for me, editing-wise.  There were a number of things that I would in no way change, in my anxiety to do justice to the original tale.  This one is based on a fairy tale too (The Twelve Dancing Princesses), but I'm more flexible about it.  The biggest problem that we're having with this one is the title.

Yep, the title.

I've mentioned this before, but I am not a good titler.  Titling does not come easily to me, it is not my gift.  Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow was the original title for that book, and neither my editor nor I was really in love with it.  We came up with about ten other titles, and the marketing department pooh-poohed them all.  Dragon Slippers was originally Dragonskin Slippers, then The Dragonskin WarsDragon Flight was going to be called Dragon Helm, but then I didn't end up using the word 'helm' in the book, because it actually kinda annoys me.  And really, those are the least changes books of mine have undergone, title-wise.  My first novel ever has been called about six different things over the years, and I'm working on a story right now that after four years of kicking around in my brain and computer files, is still called Untitled Desert Project.  My titling bone is broken.


Black Wool Chain.  I actually like it, myself, as much if not better than I've ever liked a title of mine.  My editor, on the other hand, hates it.  She would really, really like to put 'princess' somewhere in the title, because (like 'dragon') it is an eye-catching word.  Unlike, say, 'wool'.  (She has a very, very valid point.)  Her title suggestions, on the other hand, don't work for me.

So here it is, the alternate title I've come up with.  And you, gentle reader, must use the comments to tell me what you think.

Princess Under Stone

It's got 'princess' in it, it's intriguing, easy to remember, and I think quite catchy.

Anyone care to comment?


Anonymous said...

I think Princess under Stone is catchy. But I would read any book of yours not matter what it was called. ;)
Your story about the UPS guy reminded me of how the mail man was always scared of delivering to Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping up Appearance. That show is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

It's more like the crazed mailman on "Funny Farm", actually.

Anonymous said...

Princess Under Stone fits really well, but I do really like Black Wool Chain...but I'm the kind of person who likes everything to be unique lol

The image in my mind when I think of Princess Under Stone is basically captivity with no way out, which, from how you've described the book, is pretty much what the princesses are facing lol

Sorry I ramble...Good luck though!
I look forward to seeing you at the Orem Barnes and Noble in May ;)


Anonymous said...

How about Stoned Princess? Hahaha. JK. That was what I thought of, though, strangely enough.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered at the speed of UPS guys.

Titles..titles...hmm. I think both titles work.
*The Stone Princess(es)*
*Dark Chains*
~~Just ponderin' ; )

Anonymous said...

Hmm. "Black Wool Chain" isn't bad. A little dark, still not as catchy as "Princess Under Stone" as far as selling it goes. But if you had a really cool cover with "Black Wool Chain" written on it...that might be really neat. But, I think my vote is for Princess Under Stone. Marketing is a pretty big deal. What ever the title, I can't wait to read it!

Anonymous said...

The UPS guy around here is just as mysterious. I'll hear the doorbell ring and look out my bedroom window two seconds later and the UPS truck is already pulling away.

Eek...I hate titles. Some come naturally, some don't.


Personally, I prefer "Black Wool Chain" to "Princess Under Stone". I think I'd pick up a book titled "Black Wool Chain" before I'd pick up "Princess Under Stone". I guess "Black Wool Chain" just sounds entirely different from anything else, whereas "Princess Under Stone" seems a little bit more normal.

Anonymous said...

I personally like Black Wool Chain, especially (I agree) with a cool picture. It sounds a lot more unique, and Princess under Stone sounds slightly closer to generic. Also, from what you've said, it sounds like the main character is the quy, not the princess(es). Princess Under Stone sounds like its POV is the princess. It might be easier to market though, I'm no expert! Can't wait! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Okay, I've never told you this, but I've been a big fan of the title Black Wool Chain from the first time I heard it. So I may be having a hard time being subjective about this, but... I really don't like Princess Under Stone. Black Wool Chain seems like a much more interesting book than Princess Under Stone. I love a princess book as much as the next girl, but I don't need to have the word in the title. Just my honest opinion about that. Now, if you really haven't a choice, as a title, you could do worse. :)

Anonymous said...

You have me dreaming about trolls! LOVED the whole book!

I agree with your opinion of it.
I just had to gush lovely things about it on my blog last night when I finished the last page.

See you this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I love the cover for DRAGON FLIGHT. Hadn't seen it before today.