Friday, September 4, 2009

Dawn’s Rise Title Analysis

Dawn’s Rise Title Analysis

I finally put a whiteboard up in my office and here’s what I wrote today:

DR Title

I didn’t come up with the title until I had finished the first draft. The name “Dawn” just came to me, possibly based on the character in Buffy:TVS. I thought of phrases that included the word “dawn” and came up with this one.

Right now I’m reanalyzing the entire story (and backstory), focusing on Dawn’s transformation throughout the story. I thought about the meaning of these words. I wrote down a bunch of related words on the whiteboard. (If you can’t read them, then you’ll understand why I don’t write drafts in longhand).

I want to narrow down to the central theme of the book. I like the metaphor of dawn, along with the concept of rising. Rebirth, resurrection, transition and transformation, the circle of life, and enlightenment. It just seems to work.

This is my current task. I’ve outlined the whole book, identified the major plot points, extracted the theme(s), and analyzed the problem areas. I’ve concluded that I’ve approached writing a bit backwards. I’ve written a story, then taken the above steps, instead of the other way around. I think it’s because I enjoy the act of sitting and writing most of all. It’s where I’m the most creative. Plotting and planning are a bit laborious. Even when I worked in software, I found it much easier to design code by writing bits and pieces of it. I’m discovering the drawbacks of this approach. I don’t know if there really is a “perfect” approach to writing, but I don’t see the harm in trying different things in the future.

How did you come up with your title? Does it have a deeper meaning or is it more of a marketing name?


  1. I've got a similar writing style. I don't like planning the story out I'd just rather get down to the writing.

    In regards to titles the title Raising Kain, came a bit as a joke. Its got a double meaning. The title character Kain is a pain in the ass at the beginning of the story, and it is a story about him being raised into adolescents and adult hood. Diseased God, the second part of my title, talks about the villain of the story, Pestilence. Since Pestilence is the horseman of disease and conquest (a type of disease) it just seemed to me that calling him a Diseased God was very apropos.

    Another title that I have which is similar to yours is Transient Dawn. Means: Changing Dawn, and it works for the piece I have it attached to because the story is about a young man changing and accepting his destiny instead of fighting against it. Note: the young man's name is not Dawn.

  2. I don't do any planning until after the first draft is over. That's when it's time to straighten things out and pave over the potholes. Hah.

    Titles come differently for me with each book. For Monarch it was super simple, and the title has several layers of meaning. It's been a lot of fun. :)

  3. Love the whiteboard! I use one for plotting. As for titles, I don't think about them. I just write under some dumb title and the right one usually comes to me by the time I'm done with the book.

  4. I want to know the opposite of all this. Who/what is the baddy and what's a word for what he/she/it's doing? A list would be groovy...

    Just curious, yanno. Sometimes there's a light in the dark.

  5. Yes, there's antagonist. She's the opposite of Dawn. Call her story Twilight's Descent.
    Where Dawn seeks knowledge, she crushes information.
    When Dawn tries to ascend, she pushes her down.
    When Dawn has hope, she seeds despair.
    Where Dawn brings light, she brings darkness.
    yada yada.

  6. Interesting.... I look forward to following your progress.
    I thought the two+ months I took to edit my own novel was "laborious"... you seem to more of a perfectionist that I am.
    Mine is far from perfect... but I'm getting great feedback now that it's done. So, I guess I'm wondering... with regards to your process... is there a point where you should accept that it's "good enough."
    Or will you re-edit and re-structure and re-review forever... thereby never getting published?
    I'm not implying anything. Just throwing out some fodder for discussion.

  7. Well, a couple days after I posted this, I decided to shelve Dawn's Rise. My analysis revealed that I was looking at another 6+ months of revisions.
    When is it "good enough"? When I do a read-thru and I love every line. When I get enough feedback that confirms that I'm on the right track.


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