November 27, 2004

I'm Still in Alabama

BUT! Scott showed me how to access my movable type thing from here. I can't access my e-mail though.

David was talking in comments about the new title. YEAH, I KNOW, I liked the old one too -- the working title of the new book was THE REFRIGERATOR BORDER WARS, which is an attention grabber, but it stopped making sense. See, it was called that because the titular border war originally began when Minor Character #7 got trapped in an old fridge in a spooky junk yard and smothered.

She was in there hiding from the sort of dog that tries to eat MILLA in RESIDENT EVIL -- well kinda. They were like those dogs except they were made out of DOG instead of hell-spawned oozing pizza. Okay fine, mine were regular dobermans...(dobermen?) but we just watched Resident Evil last night and I had bad dreams starring oozing undead dogs all night. ugh. <---digression.

ANYWAY, The point is, I realized that
1) There was no rational way to get that particular character into the yard in the first place. I know this woman. She WOULD NOT GO. I mean, I COULD have gotten her in there. I am the WRITER, so I COULD have sent a big wind to pick her up and hurl her over the fence. I could have teleported her. I could have had her wake up there with mysterious track marks between her toes and no memory. Whatever. But I could not get her in there without MAJOR contrivance.
2) Even if I managed to get her naturally and seamlessly in there...smothering is kind of...dull. Mostly you sit in a fridge and wonder how much oxygen you have left. Ho hum.

So Instead of sending her into the parts yard I sent the dogs OUT to eat her up on the street. Much better. But then I had made my title obsolete. Troubling.

So I TRIED to work a DIFFERENT fridge into the book, believe me. I REALLY liked that title. Several scenes had COMPLETELY EXTRANEOUS refrigerators popping up and trying to LOOK MEANINGFUL... They all failed. It's not an easy thing to do.
PROOF:Think of a famous movie scene, and then stick a fridge in it.

Imagine a fridge looming up behind Obi Wan and Darth as they battle on the death star.
Imagine 12 angry men and one refrigerator.
Imagine the movie producer waking up in his bed, and he rolls over and he sees....a miniature fridge. With a horse head in it.
You can't have Humphrey Bogart change PLAY IT, SAM to GET ME A BEER, SAM.

More lines that won't work:
"Hey. Rain Man, do you know this stainless side-by-side?"
"If you put it in the fridge, they will come."
"I see dead major appliances."

IT DOES NOT WORK.
IT CANNOT BE DONE.
Although I could think of examples all day. It's kinda fun. TRY IT!
So I had to go through the book and de-fridgify it in one great scything revision. It was one of the last three whole-book read-through revisions I did before re-titling it and sending it to my agent. I think I cut out a good three thousand words in that pass-through, all of which were trying VERY hard to make refrigerators seem SCARY, or AWE-INSPIRING, or LOVABLE, or, in one particularly ill-conceived passage, like a MANIFESTATION OF HOPE. The fridge that sprang eternal.

The new title works for the book and I like it, but. Yeah. I do miss it. I will use that title later, betcha, just as soon a thematically vital refrigerator presents itself in a book that, um, has war in it, that um, takes place near a border...

Or not. *sigh*

Posted by joshilyn at November 27, 2004 6:24 PM
Comments

Between, Georgia is the best title for a novel I've ever heard. Ever. If a classic butt-kicking novel like Gone With the Wind wasn't already named, and there was a contest going on for an appropriate title, BETWEEN, GEORGIA would be a front runner. It is THAT awesome a title.

I'd also like to point out that there are no refrigerators in GWTW, either. So Between, Georgia is in good company. No fridge required, smothering or otherwise.

Posted by: Jill James at November 27, 2004 8:47 PM

Where in Bama are you? I was in Bama ALL weekend.

Posted by: Heather at November 27, 2004 10:52 PM

Okay, I concede. Anyway, Between, Georgia does at least continue the state-name-in-the-title thing; something GWTW could never do. ;-)

Posted by: David at November 28, 2004 9:03 PM

I was in Birmingham at my mom's house. Eating.

Posted by: Joshilyn at November 29, 2004 8:25 AM

Oh, and she was also working out. Working out mostly involved stepping over the husband who had passed out in a food coma somewhere between the table and the kitchen.

FPFF is nice and all, but oh, the mashed sweet potatos. Mmmmmmm......

Posted by: Mr. Husband at November 29, 2004 6:56 PM