Drink Me

Posted on 02/04/2013 by


Me: So I’m trying to think of a title for my book.
Arkem: Bob.
Me: That’s the name of my car.
Rick: Bruce.
Me: You guys are useless.

I am bad at titles. These guys are clearly worse. But honestly, ‘Bruce’ wouldn’t be that much more inappropriate than the working title it currently has.

I mean, ‘wizards in space’ works well as a pitch, because it tells someone what it is in three words, but if you’re actually looking at the book…

The ‘in space’ is code for ‘science fiction’ in a pitch but they’re only in space about half the time. And it’s not wizards plural. Technically there is a second one but it’s really not about them. It’s just about the one.

And the book isn’t even about the wizards it’s about these two guys, like that’s the point, the friendship between these two people. So I can’t name it for just one of them. And if I was going to name it for just one it wouldn’t be Jamie, it would be Gray, because he’s the one getting thrown into this world. He’s the one down the rabbit hole.

So it’s just a really inappropriate title. A great sales pitch but a horrible title.

And I decided to celebrate finishing the first draft by giving it a working title that made a teeny tiny modicum of sense. (Okay, the boys wouldn’t let me work at the weekend, so I got around it by spending the time mentally editing the last chapter and thinking about titles.)

Usually I just lift a line from the text, wack it on the front cover and call it a title. This time that didn’t seem to work. The best I could come up with that way was, ‘Put the lime in the ambrosia’, which I think only makes any kind of sense if you’re familiar with the song, and even then… So, no.

Then I thought I’d try crowdsourcing titles from everyone around me. As most of them have not read the book this was not terribly effective.

Bottle of port with the label 'DRINK ME'

Then I thought maybe I’d steal a line from Alice in Wonderland instead. The book has a lot of references to Alice one way and another. So I asked the general populace what their favourite Alice in Wonderland quote was. Shockingly, most of them seemed to draw a blank when put on the spot like that, although Arkem suggested, “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date” which wouldn’t be totally out of line, but is kind of long.

And then, around the point that I was pouting into my butter chicken about it all the delightful young lady sitting next to me at dinner suggested, ‘Drink Me’. Which, okay, yes, why didn’t I think of that earlier? It’s obvious. It’s brilliant.

So now I have a new working title and am going to take this week off and revel in the delightfulness that is a non-idiotic title and a first draft. I am. Right now. Going to put the laptop down. Any minute now.