Monday, October 18, 2010

A New Title?

I write this knowing full well that IF this book ever gets an agent and IF it ever gets published, the liklihood that the title is going to change along the way is pretty high. However, having a title gives me something to focus on--kind of like the thesis in a research paper. And different titles become metaphors for different things.

I like 900 Miles for the title because it's the title of an Appalachian song that talks about being 900 miles from home. Boston (where John is from) is approximately 900 miles from Bear Wallow Mountain (where Ivy is from) and it serves as a metaphor for the large geographical and cultural gulf separating them. But there are certain things aout 900 Miles as a title that I'm not such a fan of. 900 Miles tells you absolutely nothing about the plot, and if you start thinking about the song as it relates to the book, it diverges wildly from it. 900 Miles is about returning home--this book deals with leaving home and relocating. But Ivy, who's the co-protagonist, never leaves home at all.

The other day when I was writing, I started poking around on youtube--I'd come to a scene where Ivy is supposed to sing a song to John, but didn't know what I wanted exactly, and wasn't finding anything that would work remotely. I knew it had to have a certain feel and certain lyrics, and without knowing exactly what you're looking for, you can only push the boundaries of google so far. Somehow I ended up browsing the songs from the Cold Mountan soundtrack and then I came across this:



Wafaring Stranger seems much more appropriate for the title because Ivy and John are both outsiders--and although the book is a romance--the backdrop of their relationship is a real-life tragedy.

The lyics:

I am a poor wayfaring stranger



While journeying through this world of woe;


And there's no sickness, toil nor danger


In that bright land to which I go.



I'm going there to see my Father,


I'm going there no more to roam;


I'm only go-going over Jordan,


I'm only go-going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather ˜round me,


I know my way is rough and steep;


And beautiful fields lie just before me,


Where God's redeemed there vigils keep.


It's a song that talks about the struggles of life and is, in a lot of ways, very metahorically powerful.

Any thoughts on the matter?

1 comment:

  1. i like it, but also still partial to 9000 miles.

    ReplyDelete

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