I've been hoping that, during the process of writing my book, a title might magically suggest itself. So it proved this week, when I was describing how my protagonist Chloe felt like something was just within reach: Spitting Distance.
A good title is catchy, memorable and should have a double meaning. One of my favourites of all time is The Thick Of It, a wickedly funny television series about the idiocy and stress in the world of politics. Spitting Distance is pretty good, insinuating a wine connection as well as describing the feeling Chloe has about the tantalising closeness of several things in the plot.
Having mentioned it to three people, however, I'm not convinced it will stick. The reaction was equivocal, possibly because it is a slightly distasteful phrase. Also, I searched the British Library catalogue and was mightily peeved to find that it's the title of a 1997 novel set in the punk era. That doesn't preclude my use of the same title, but I'd prefer to be completely original if possible - so will continue thinking it over. Mightily Peeved has a certain ring to it.
I've now almost finished writing the second chapter, which is taking quite quite a while. The problem arises from the fact that when I started writing the book back in January, I went straight to chapter seven. This was to avoid the psychological barrier of having to write the first line of the first chapter (which I finally got round to last month). Now I find that I am introducing characters and situations in these first chapters which I have already described in later chapters. I'm trying not to repeat myself, which is why it has been slow progress. I will also have to ensure that the chapters flow together coherently when I come to the second draft.
Last time, I mentioned that I need to restructure part two of the book to fit in a new sub-plot. I've postponed this process, because I want to finish writing the first half of the book first. There are six more chapters to write, so once they are finished (by Christmas?!) I will revise the plot of part two, and if I'm feeling brave enough, will read the whole of part one for the first time. Perhaps then a new title will suggest itself too.