Friday, March 20, 2009

Doubt Is My Bedfellow

I woke up in a cold sweat today. I just don't know if I'm on the right path. Everything I thought was rich and vibrant last night seems sickly in the harsh morning light. But I put on my robe, grabbed a Coke and sat down in front of the monitor's glow.

The demons of doubt were summoned by my title. Like moths to a flame they gathered during the night. A lot of screenwriting books say you shouldn't even start writing until you have a title, but this story was demanding to get out so I just started writing. I don't want to go into specifics, but my script deals with big themes: religion, mythology, the rich dark crevices of human experience that go unplumbed by most mortal men.

Right now I'm calling it "The Shroud."

I'm worried the title is too abstract.

Originally I wanted to call it "Lifting the Caul," because the theme is about exposing things kept hidden, but in our woefully undereducated society not many people know what that is. To be born "in the caul" means to be born with the amniotic sac still intact around the body, like so:

We rare ones born in the caul are known as "caulbearers." The ancient Romans believed that babies born with a caul possessed a second sight. Roman midwives sold cauls in the Forum for protection from witchcraft.

This is why I am a writer. As a caulbearer, my second sight gives me vision into my fictive worlds.

If only the caul would protect me from the demons of doubt.

Does symbolism make for a good title? Or should I spoonfeed the reader with something very literal?

Back to my script and my battle. More later.


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