23 July 2005

Name Changes

I forgot to put this in the last post . . .

Some time ago, I wrote a YA novel that I titled Taken, 1941. I never really liked the title. My original idea was to call it In the Fairies, 1941 (the date was mainly to make it clear when the story was set; I keep changing my mind about whether it should stay or not). "In the fairies" is a Newfoundand term meaning something like "pixie-led," or lost and disoriented due to stumbling onto fairies or fairy property. I let someone (I shall not say who) convince me to change it. Since I don't think I ever used "in the fairies" in the book, but I did use "taken," it didn't seem like a big deal. But, as I said, I never much liked that title. So. Not so long ago, I decided to change the title to The Stolen Child. I had since written another YA novel called The Secret Common-wealth, and I liked the idea of using the titles of famous old fairy literature. The Secret Common-wealth has that title for a very good reason (not just because I wanted to steal something well-known to fairy enthusiasts)--it's set in Aberfoyle and is strongly connected to the events surrounding the Rev Kirk's death (Kirk being the author of the original book of that title, ca 1692).

Anyway. I've since realized that I really need the title The Stolen Child for an entirely different novel (yes, another YA with fairies in, which I will probably do for this year's NaNoWriMo). So I can't use that to retitle Taken (and, to be honest, it never felt quite right anyway, but I couldn't think of a better famous-fairy title to borrow, and nothing I thought up of my own worked, either). So. One evening while getting ready for bed, I realized what the title would be. The Coming of the Fairies. The original book was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and concerns the Cottingly fairy incident. While Doyle's book hadn't yet been published at the time my novel takes place (the Strand articles it was assembled from were, though), the events he wrote about had happened (two decades before, if I remember correctly). And another book about Cottingley, E.L. Gardner's Fairies: A Book of Real Fairies (which I think appeared under some other title, too, but I don't feel like looking it up), figures fairly prominently in the story. I'd use that title, but it's just not as interesting.

  • Taken, 1941 is now called The Coming of the Fairies (possibly with 1941 tacked on)
  • Fairy Rings is now called The Stolen Child (and I will starting it all over from the beginning, leaving little or no of the content I've already written, except some of the plot and a few of the characters--it really wasn't working, but I still like many of the ideas)

So there you go. I guess it's a good thing I haven't been sending my mss out much--I keep changing their titles. But no more. I'm happy with the titles. Now if I could ony get the revisions done and be happy with the whole ms. Sigh.

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