Saturday, November 24, 2007

Genesis of a Title: "The Light that Time Forgot"

People often ask me where I get my ideas for stories. Part of my answer is that sometimes a title comes into my head, and I write a story around that.

Which of course leads to the question - well, then, how do you come up with titles, if you haven't already written at least part of the story?

Now that's a good question, especially for me, because, truthfully, I really can't remember how I came up with most of my titles...

But I came up with what I think is good title late last night, or early this morning, and since that's not all that long ago, it turns out I can indeed remember exactly - more or less - how I came up with it. Which I thought I'd share you... And then, years from now, if you come across something I published with that title, you'll recall reading someplace just how I came up with it...

To begin ... I've been spending a lot of enjoyable time the past few days in Second Life - the virtual world that Ken Hudson (Kenny Hubble in SL) brought me into earlier this month to do an interview.

In large part because of Ken's encouragement, I've even decided to open a virtual book shop in Second Life - I'm calling it the Soft Edge bookshop, and it will sell all of my books via Amazon links, and I'll be doing live readings there, holding contests, other fun stuff. The store's still under construction... I'll be making an announcement about the grand opening soon.

Now, in addition to Ken, I've met a whole bunch of interesting people in Second Life, including Mike Stackpole (a fellow science writer whom I've known and whose work I've enjoyed for years) and Jeremy Owen Turner, who did a great interview with me years ago about Digital McLuhan (that was in 1999 - small worlds...)

So, last night, I was having a fascinating talk about writing in general, style in Second Life, etc with Jeremy (whose SL name is Wirxli Flimflam) and aurel Miles (her SL name - her real name is Stephanie Farrington) and her friend. Now, aurel and her friend do visual design, among other things, and at some point they showed Wirxli and me a mural by an artist whose name I can't recall (see, I'm forgetting already). Started with a J, and was something like Juria. Anyway, there were words on this mural, and scenes, and one of them was something about lighting and forgetting (no kidding)....

And something about that hit me, and I began playing around with titles...

The first one I came up with was, "The Time That Light Forgot". Which I like, but a few hours later - I was long gone from Second Life by then - I realized that that would make a good title for maybe a story about the Dark Ages.

So I switched two of the words, and come up with "The Light That Time Forgot"....

Now there, I think, is a proper title for anything having to do with time travel - which as you know, I love - or, more specifically, observing the past, as it's actually happening, live and directly from the present (looking at the light time has forgotten).

I can't say, at this point, what exactly I'll do with the title. At very least, I'll likely use it as a title for a collection of my time travel stories that I'll someday publish. But it could lead to more ... a short story, or even a novel...

If you still know me then, you'll let me know what you think of it...

And I'll be back here later tonight with my review of the Battlestar Galactica special.

See also Further Genesis of The Light That Time Forgot...

Here's a screen shot of the Soft Edge book shop, under construction...
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