Saturday, October 07, 2006

Alcatraz Two

It's actually a little bit strange to be working on this book.  Since the first one was such a free-write, coming in a blitz of creativity, it's a challenge to follow that up. 

I'm a little worried I won't get the voice right.  The problem is, I wrote the first book in third-person then changed it to first-person at my agent's suggestion.  So, I had a round-about method of getting to the final product.  Now, I have to do that voice straight out.

Plus, I have to be funny.  Being funny is strange--sometimes, things just flow right out, and they're amusing.  Other times, you really have to force it, and you're never sure if it's actually amusing or not.  Plus, as the Amphigory comics I've been posting prove, humor itself is so subjective that it's kind of dangerous to do in the first place.  No matter what you write, someone is going to think it's lame. 

But, I'm determined to make this series work, and I'm pleased with the three chapters I have done.  If anyone's read the first Alcatraz book, by the way, I'm open to suggestions on the title.  I called it ALCATRAZ INITIATED originally, but we've decided that INITIATED is too tough a word to use in the title of the book.

Right now, we're looking at THE UTTERLY UNHEROIC ADVENTURES OF ALCATRAZ SMEDRY verses THE EVIL LIBRARIANS or something like that.  It would be nice to get Alcatraz's full name in the title, so that we indicate that the book isn't about the prison.  It's also good to get librarians in the title, since that's one of the more amusing parts of the book.

My trouble is I don't want the book to sound too much like a joke.  In my mind, it's an amusing story--but not a gag story.  There's a difference to me.  An amusing story is something you can enjoy, hopefully, on several levels.  Pratchet and Adams are amusing writers.  Gags are things like the Naked Gun movies.  Quick, dismissible comedy.  I'm hoping for more of the former and less of the later, and I don't want a title that makes someone think that the book isn't going to have character or plot just because it has some amusing sections.

We'll see. 


Blogger Calise said...

I actually loved Alcatraz Initiated as a title and I thought it worked when I read the sample chapters, but you've got to do what you've got to do to make those scary editing people happy. Btw, I LOVED the sample chapters! They just spoke to me somehow, which is good bc I would be considered your target audience. Anyway, it's amazing and I can't wait for it to come out next year!

1:22 AM  

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