Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Time Line, and Possibly, A Title...

I'm doing a time line jig! Isn't it purdy?? (Can you see the artwork of Mr. Darcy in my P&P book from 1940? He looks so darn snooty, it makes me giggle.) So, my novel takes place in a ten month period. I just found that out last night, when I started putting a time line together. I was starting to lose track of key events, and was having to search for certain passages I had written, to know who did what and when. I went to a wonderful sight that has already been invaluable called the Regency Encyclopedia, and found an old scanned written time line of P&P. I took notes, and was able to make my own time line using P&P's, since some of the same things still happen in my book after my jumping off point.

We start in November the day after the Netherfield ball and go to the following September, which is exactly one year from the day Bingley decided to take up residence in Hertfordshire. I just finished writing what happened in March, which you can see many many major things happened. So, now my book has progressed into April, which is slow and sort of uneventful. I'm ruminating and trying to figure out what our star crossed lovers are thinking--how they are processing things, because things will pick up in the summer. I'm actually catching my breath, since writing about the events in Hunsford exhausted me. (Lizzy does go to visit Charlotte, but the events are very different from P&P.) I was actually tensed up while I was typing, and my heart was pounding. How nerdy am I?

I also might be able to do an "I Chose a Title" jig. I'm just not positive it's the best marketing choice. From the research I have done, if you really want to grab true Austenites, they recommend that you title your books with something recognizable in it, like Pemberly, Darcy, or Longbourn. Or to do a play on the original title--like Pride and Pestilence, which is still a viable option for me. :0) But my really awesome, well-obsessed-over title is neither. Writers love to be either extremely clever, or want deep and prophetic strings tied to their works. One of my produced scripts, which was a modern day Jonah story, I entitled "Hold the Anchovies." It still makes me proud. (Of course I had to explain to my scientist hubby, "What if Jonah ordered pizza?" Three seconds later, he smiled and nodded.)

So, my maybe-title "Speak Not Against the Sun," will not stop a Jane Austen fanatic in her heels at the bookstore, but it is a fun and meaningful thread throughout my book. When Elizabeth wants to distract herself in my novel, she recites Latin verses she has memorized. She did just that under her breath within earshot of Darcy,"Adversus solem ne loquitor," which translates as "speak not against the sun", or "why argue when you have no chance of winning?" Darcy understands her and it becomes a private joke or spear point between them the rest of the book. Should I go for the marketing method or with my vanity? What think you, esteemed reader?

I'll post something new from my book next time. If any of you have a good book title idea for me, give it up! Until then, forgive me, dearest Jane...


  1. You're off to a grand start and I can't wait to read more! I, too, love old movies, romantic comedies and Masterpiece Theater so those are just more reasons for me to like you! LOL So glad you're posting at AHA.

  2. Thank you, Rita! I so appreciate every comment. Any ideas for a better title, or do you like the one I have?

  3. I really like the title....very unique and we who don't know latin get to find out its meaning early on! Fun!

  4. I actually really like the title, and think it fits the story extremely well. I vote that you keep it! It actually grabbed my attention while I was perusing things to read. Truth be told, I tend to gravitate toward things that have interesting, and unique, titles that make me wonder what the book/story will be about. :)