Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Flood and Stone Title Change!

Those of you who follow me on twitter have been privy to an overload of melodramatic rage a bit of editing angst lately as I finished up another round of edits on the book I've always referred to as Isadora.

Isadora, Isadora. This book, guys. To put things in perspective, PARANORMALCY's first draft was written in three weeks. MIND GAMES' in nine days. Isadora? Oh, you know, a year-and-a-half? Closer to two? I don't know how many times I got to fifty or one-hundred pages and started over, but it was at least four or five.

I do not keep working on something if I can't figure it out at fifty pages. Ever. I have no idea how many abandoned manuscripts with twenty, forty, fifty pages I have stacked up over the last few years, but it's a lot. If something is off--the voice, the plot, the pacing--I'm not afraid to abandon it.

And I abandoned Isadora.

REPEATEDLY.

But Isadora, being herself, wouldn't stand for it. I couldn't forget her voice, couldn't forget the setup, couldn't forget the boy. (Yes. The boy. Of course.) There is a certain constellation that is very important to the story, and for an entire winter whenever I'd see it I felt GUILTY. Actual, physical guilt in the pit of my stomach for giving up on Isadora's story, for letting her down.

(I will say it for you: crazytown.)

Gorgeous photo by Mouser, downloaded from Wikipedia Commons

The other factor in this was two people: Natalie Whipple, my longtime crit partner and alpha reader, who has loved Isadora in all her forms, and always encouraged me. And Michelle Wolfson, my phenomenal agent, who read the first fifty pages of one of the drafts and said, "YES, THIS, I WANT THIS." And every time I mentioned I was working on something else, she said, "Sounds great! Can't wait to read it! What's happening with Isadora?"

Those two gave me the boost I needed to go back to a very hard story. In case it isn't obvious, I like writing fast. I like stories that come in a burst of inspiration, that piece themselves together effortlessly, that tell me what they are about from the start and let me just write them.

Isadora is a deliberately difficult girl, though, and I needed that time and those drafts, and most especially the incredibly insightful guidance of Erica Sussman, my editor at HarperTeen, to help me finally, FINALLY tell that story I'd been trying to all along. I can honestly say I've never been prouder of a book. I hope I never have to be this proud of one again, because really: so much work.

Now, to the point! My Fall 2013 book about the modern day daughter of Ancient Egyptian gods has a new title to reflect the book it has, through much sweat and frustration and very-teen-appropriate angst, become at long last:

THE CHAOS OF STARS

I love it. The title, the book, and my incredibly stubborn MC, Isadora. Can't wait for you to meet her! After you meet Fia and Annie from MIND GAMES in February, of course.

Now I just have to decide who I want you to meet in 2014...

24 comments:

Lindsey Bench said...

Love it! So, so fitting!!!

yabooknerd said...

Love the title - and love how you kept going! What a great story/inspiration!

Ashley said...

Your books have some of the best names.

Heather Sunseri said...

Oh, my, I can't even imagine writing a book in 9 days. A year-and-a-half is more my speed, though I wish I was faster.

Love the names and the story of encouragement from those around you.

storyqueen said...

Gorgeous title. Can't wait to read it.

Janean said...

Love it! Can't wait to read it! Quit being so successful!! I need to catch up. Xoxo

Ashley said...

I'm SO excited!! Mostly because I'm a huge Egyptian buff ;) It sounds like such a cool story and the title is great!

Michelle Wolfson said...

Oh, Isadora, you troublesome girl, you. As I just told Kiersten after finishing rereading you, I always forget how much I love you. Chaos indeed!

Irene said...

Brilliant title, Miss White. Can’t wait to read it ;-)

Mel - Thedailyprophecy. said...

I really love the title! :)

Steph Sessa said...

This title is awesome!

Jade said...

Man. I really like that title. It makes me think of the book I'm currently editing, which I love with the power of a billion iny stars. So thumbs up from me.

Kate said...

LOVE IT!!! Coolest title, perhaps ever!!! So can't wait to read it!!! And Orion is so my favorite constellation, has been forever!!! :) :) :) Waaaaaaay excited!!! :) :) :)
Whoot to Natalie, Michelle and Erica encouraging you to finish! So happy I'll get to read this story! :) :) :)

Caryn Caldwell said...

Love the title! Looks like it's very appropriate considering the constellation you mentioned. Can't wait to read it!

Keshia Swaim said...

I can't wait to read it. :) And I do NOT think you are crazy. I'm a writer as well, and I have a character who hasn't let me go for years. I've started and stopped, and one day I will finish. I think.

Makayla Anderson said...

Cant wait! :)

Kris (Imaginary Reads) said...

Love the title! I absolutely cannot wait until I get my hands on a copy. It sounds epic. I am so glad that Natalie and Michelle kept enjoying you. I am sure it's going to be worth all the hard work!!

Penelope said...

Oh, that title is awesome. Literally a title that makes you want to read the book more.

PS You should change that on your FAQ! ;)

Megs said...

I am SO excited. Everything I've ever heard about this book just makes me want to read it even more. Thanks for not giving up on Isadora! :) :) :)

Liesel K Hill said...

Hi there! Great post! Actually I'm commenting to tell you that you were recommended in a blog hop that lists great, inspirational bloggers. I came over to check out your website. I'm a fellow novelist (debut novel the end of this year) and now a new follower via GFC. Just wanted to say hi! :D

E.B. Black said...

I'm always afraid that a book will be one of those difficult ones to write whenever I first start writing them. I prefer the ones that come out easy as well.

Sheepa said...

Sounds brilliant!!! Can't wait to meet Isadora, LOVE her name :D

Ravens said...

Did two novels so far, with outline of scenes first, so just kept on going, didn't stop. But I do have 50 some flash fiction so far, I'm sure there must be a few that could be longer. Maybe a novel.

Ireth K said...

Hi Kiersten, I just finished Endlessly. The sarcasm and bleeping jokes are awesome, though being a fantasy fan means i've seen all the hand holding of hot guys are rather cliche to me. I thought the fae will always be immortal regardless of wherever they are? Other than these, it's a stress reliever.
How did you find agents to promote your story? I'm taking advice to submit to the publishers with the genre i'm keen about.