What’s in a (Website) Name?

Friday night I finished a big revision of my WIP, I Hold the Wind, which I first drafted during National Novel Writing Month in 2014. Monday I began writing a new novel, which is at the moment called One Last Summer. It’s a complete reboot of an earlier manuscript, which lent its name to the blog you’re reading right now (A Beautiful Fiction). I initially decided that when I wrote a new story that happened in the exact same setting with a few of the same characters (though they would all be much changed) it ought to have a new title. The original story of that name had been sent out years ago to agents but ultimately didn’t work. (And they were right to reject it.) I didn’t want anyone to get confused or have their reading experience of the new story tainted by the old.

However, the more I think about it, the more I think that old title still fits. And I obviously liked the sound of it, or I wouldn’t have wanted to save it and use it for my website. And let’s be honest, agents read thousands of submissions each year, and by the time this new story might possibly be published, eight or ten years may have passed since they had seen it. And of the handful of agents who actually read the manuscript in its entirety, how many would read this new book (after all, I am no longer querying agents). And let’s not forget the most important thing: an author’s title is rarely the title that makes it to the final product and it’s the publisher’s prerogative to change it. A Beautiful Fiction may be deemed too literary, while One Last Summer has more obvious commercial appeal (beach read, anyone?).

I’m sure as the writing progresses, my thoughts on this will go back and forth a number of times. In the end, who knows if One Last Summer will even make sense? Maybe it won’t be the last summer at all. That’s half the fun of writing for someone who tends to have a loose idea of where a book is going but not a completely drawn-out plot — you don’t quite know where you’ll end up.

In the writing world, those are generally called pantsers, people who write by the seat of their pants. But I’m not sure I’m a true pantser. And I’m certainly not a plotter, at least not in the same way someone like my husband is (his outlines run into the tens of thousands of words — no, that’s not an exaggeration). I’m a hybrid. A planter, if you will. I have the seed and I know what it needs in order to grow, but I don’t have complete control over its growth. Then at some point I get out my pruners and start revising.

At any rate, all of this thought about titles made me start thinking about this website. Is it time to consider un-naming my blog and simply naming the whole website ErinBartels.com? That is the URL, after all. And it would be wise to have my name in the header so you see it right away (or so every branding expert says) whether or not I use A Beautiful Fiction on a book someday.

What do you think, reader? Did you even know this blog had a name other than mine?

Edit: So, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed right to change the website name from A Beautiful Fiction to simply my name. So, welcome to ErinBartels.com.  😉


8 thoughts on “What’s in a (Website) Name?

  1. lol – I’m a planter too. I usually have a general idea of where I’m headed, but love seeing what springs up as I write.

    Yes, I’d go with the name change. Helps establish your brand, which is you. I didn’t know the blog had a name other than A Beautiful Fiction.

  2. Let’s hear it for us planters lol ! I think you’ve coined a new term for writers who are neither truly panster or plotters! (though I’m more of the former) Loved reading the background on the lovely name A Beautiful Fiction, but have to agree you need your name on your website! Wishing you much success with your wip ~ no matter the name it is finally known as!

  3. I liked your term “Planter.” I think I’m going to use it from now on. I have been doing NaNoWriMo for a while and I could never put myself full in Planner or Pantser camps. I rarely write out an outline and it is most certainly not a full one because my characters are going to change as they grow. I’m not in the Pantser camp because I tend to keep my WIP on track and most of the time, I have “watched” scenes from that novel or its sequels play out in my mind. I always know where it’s going, I just don’t know how it’s always going to get there.

    Thanks for the new term to use!

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