Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nicky Wells teaches us the trick to finding the right title...plus a book giveaway

**Giveaway is now closed**

"Sophie’s Turn" is the exciting chick-lit debut by UK-based author Nicky Wells. It is an honest, funny and occasionally bitter-sweet story of one young woman’s entanglement with a rock star. Watch out for the upcoming review of "Sophie’s Turn" right here on Chick Lit Central! (Courtesy of Melissa A., who is reading it now and enjoying it so far.) Meanwhile, Nicky, who lives in Bristol (UK) with her husband and two little boys, is telling us how "Sophie’s Turn" started out with quite a different title when it was first conceived over six years ago… and what incisive event changed Nicky’s views regarding the perfect title for her first novel.

Nicky has two e-books of "Sophie's Turn" to give to some lucky readers anywhere!

You can find Nicky on Facebook and Twitter, as well as at her blog.

"Sophie’s Turn" is available as an e-book from Amazon.com and Amazon UK. Readers don’t need a Kindle. E-books can be downloaded using free Kindle Reading Apps for iPads, Smartphones and PCs/Macs.

Turning the Title

Finding the right title for your book can be a tricky business—especially when you’re convinced that you’ve already got it!Here’s what happened to me and my debut novel.

December 2004: I sit at my desk at home, terribly excited. My goal: to write my all-time favourite romantic novel before my baby gets born. I’ve got my characters lined up and the climax and denouement of my plot sorted out in my head. But I like to be organised (over-organised, some say), and so this thing needs a title.The first page is staring at me from the computer screen, white and virginal. The cursor is blinking expectantly: blink, blink, blink. Time ticks by and I’m frozen. I can’t start writing without a title.

Utterly unable to work owing to woeful absence of catchy title, I compile a detailed outline instead. Now a chapter-by-chapter flowchart graces my wall. But that first page is still white and the cursor is still blinking.I let my mind wander. What happens in my novel? I talk to myself; that usually helps. Suddenly, something sticks:

Full Circle.
Full Circle…
Sophie, my heroine, comes full circle at the end.
I like that.
I like that a lot!

The curse of the blinking cursor is defeated. I type, confidently and in big bold letters: FULL CIRCLE. After that, the writing flows. I have a complete draft within three months. My debut masterpiece becomes known as "Full Circle."

April 2005: My first baby is born and "Full Circle" sits on the shelf, where it remains for… six whole years. I re-read it a few times and, on several occasions and make some sweeping changes. But then "Full Circle" continues to languish on the shelf.

June 2011: My husband casually mentions having heard on the radio that it is now quite easy to self-publish one’s work via Amazon/Kindle. I don’t latch onto that notion until a few days later. But the seed sown, I am suddenly determined to publish my long-neglected novel. In fact, I am totally energised: "Full Circle" is to see the light of day, at last! I re-read, edit, reformat the entire manuscript ready for conversion to e-book. I check out legalities. I am thoroughly over-excited. And then it’s all done… except I need a cover!

July 2011: I need a cover for "Full Circle," and have set aside an evening to make one, somehow. I’ve gathered rings, a pearl necklace, a champagne flute, a backstage pass I managed to blag a few months back. I’m working the symbolism. But I’m not getting anywhere at all. I’m taking some photos but it all looks very amateurish. And it doesn’t do what I want it to do. Somehow, the title is letting me down. It’s not workable.

I collapse on the sofa next to my husband, only barely holding back tears of frustration. So close and yet so far! After six whole years, I suddenly recognise that "Full Circle" isn’t actually the catchy, memorable, meaningful title I thought it was.What now?

My husband comes to the rescue. He pushes me to think clearly about what I want the cover to say. I doodle on a page: a girl, faced with two options. What options are those, my husband nags. Easy: to marry a rock star, or an accountant. Suddenly, inspiration strikes: a picture of a signpost pointing two ways. Pink background, some grass, maybe a butterfly. My husband illustrates as I speak. We like it—a lot. In fact, it’s brilliant. The problem is that the image doesn’t at all work with the title. I take a radical decision: "Full Circle" needs to go. I need something else.

Sophie’s… Sophie’s what? The image shows a ‘choice’ but “Sophie’s Choice” already exists. Fetch the thesaurus. Think. Think laterally. Try out various combinations. And finally: "Sophie’s Turn."

"Sophie’s Turn." That works on many levels. Sophie’s turn at pursuing happiness. Sophie’s turn—which way will she turn? How will she turn her situation around? And suddenly I know that’s it. Never mind six years of knowing my masterpiece by a different title, "Sophie’s Turn"
is what it is meant to be called. And so I publish.

Special thanks to Nicky for sharing her methods behind picking a title, and a clever one at that, as well as for sharing her e-books with our readers.

How to win "Sophie's Turn":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What was the biggest decision you've had to make? Did you feel comfortable with your choice in the end or would you do things differently if you had another chance at the same decision?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

Giveaway ends September 25th at midnight EST.

21 comments:

Kat said...

1) So great to get that insight. It's amazing how things fall into place sometimes.

2) The most important decision I had to make was ending a long-term relationship last year. I am happy with my decision because it was something that needed to be done and I am happier without the stress.

3) I am a follower through GFC.

4) I am a member of CLC.

5) Posted on facebook.

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Lisa said...

I follow Lisa GFC I think that I need to get a better title for my book and I agree it is tough to do. I made the decision to quit my full-time job to stay home with my kids and have a few more...five kids later I'm still home full-time and glad even if I have given up my chance at the career I trained and studied for, thanks lisapeters at yahoo dot com Lisa bookhimdanno.blogspot.com

Sherry said...

1 --biggest decision moving back to home state and returning to school--best thing --besides the birth of my son that I have ever did

2 I am a follower
3. I am a memeber

susana said...

1. Please tell us: What was the biggest decision you've had to make? It always I think have to be with work, change from one to another, then lost it..

Probably different...
Decisions are difficult in love, well I don`t know I am alone and have some options but yo never know.

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
Of course follower

3. Posted on FB wall
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Email address: smdiazz33@hotmail.com

Amy said...

This is a hard one b/c it seems that I'm so bad at making important decisions. I'm going to say the most important (and hardest) decision I had to make was taking a semester off/leaving from my first college, Ithaca college and then a semester later, transferring to Montclair State University.

I am a GFC follower
I am a member of Chick Lit Central
I shared contest on facebook

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/jam_njellygirl/status/116196406561218560

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read to novel :)

i'm a follower, too.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Kim W. said...

1. Biggest/hardest decision to make was when I had to decide if I should move to a different province with my then-boyfriend, whom I had only been with for about 3 or 4 months!! In the end, I truly felt that he was "the one" and that I was young and should take the chance. So I did--7 months into our relationship, we moved, and 11 years later, we are married with 2 children, living in the same province we moved to so long ago :) Wouldn't change a thing about it!

2. I follow the CLC blog

3. I posted this contest on Facebook

4. I belong to CLC on Facebook

kewalker1972@gmail.com

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: What was the biggest decision you've had to make? Did you feel comfortable with your choice in the end or would you do things differently if you had another chance at the same decision?

I have had to make a lot of difficult decisions, probably some of the biggest ones being to cut people out of my life who were ultimately bad for me.

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Already follow this blog.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Am a member.

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com

Jel ♡ said...

i think one of the biggest decision i ever made was when i had to decide if i am going to transfer to another school. part of me kept saying its a swrong move but nah, cant do anything about it already.

punkme15 at gmail dot com

Jel ♡ said...

im already a GFC follower =)
GFC: Jel

punkme15 at gmail dot com

Jel ♡ said...

im also a member of Chicklit Central on FB

FB Name: Jung Rae Woo

punkme15 at gmail dot com

meandmom said...

I would like to read this book.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

meandmom said...

The biggest decisions I ever had to make were whether or not to get married and whether or not to have a baby and then whether or not to have another baby. All of those decisions turned out well.

I am a Facebook fan.

I am a subscriber.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Margaret said...

The biggest decision would be my Father had passed away and my Mom(elderly) was alone and wanted me to live with her. I was living in another part of the country and young, wanting to pursue my dreams, travel etc. Well I did go home and live with her until she passed away and got married the after so looking back I don't regret it because I knew it was the right thing to do however, there were times that I wondered where life would have taken me if I had stayed where I was.

I am a follower.

I have had my eye on this book and hoping I get lucky this time! Thanks!

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

WonderWoman said...

Email: ariangel.rod@gmail.com

1. The biggest choice I ever had to make was whether to get married or not. I was in my senior year in a Catholic university when I got pregnant, so the nuns said that I had to either get married and get my degree or I would have to leave the school to have my baby. Naturally, the pressure was on because the "Catholic thing to do" would be to get married. But, in my heart, I knew I wouldn't be happy that way. I loved my boyfriend and am still with him today, but I didn't want to get forced into marriage just because we were having a baby together. I was not at ease with my decision in the beginning and I still sometimes wonder how different our lives would have been if I had graduated, but I don't regret it. We will get married one day and I will finish uni one day. But at my own pace.

2. I already follow this blog through GFC as Wonder Woman.

3. Posted this contest on my blog here: http://wonderwomanrises.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-giveaway-sophies-turn-e-book.html

4. Already joined Chick Lit Central on FB as Angeline Rodriguez.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read!

billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

Nancye said...

One of the biggest decisions I have ever made (with the help of my husband) was to adopt our daughter from China. BEST decision we've ever made!! (BTW- She's almost 8 years old now and cannot imagine life without her! :)

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/118157419690983424

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I posted this giveaway on my FB Wall
FB ID: Nancye Epperson Davis

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/nancyecdavis/posts/285764018101994

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I like/ follow you on FB

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net