For the past couple of months, I have been working on the third book in my Portraits series. I was having trouble coming up with a title that worked with Portrait of… But I knew that if I just kept writing, the title would reveal itself. I was considering Portrait of a Girl Sailing since there will be some sailing, and it works metaphorically, but the story is not just about Leila sailing—it’s about a journey, literally and figuratively, therefore, I was thinking maybe Portrait of a Journey. But neither really clicked for me.
So, today, over 40k words into the first, rough draft, as I was writing a scene, a line came to me from the first book, Portrait of a Girl Running. It’s at the end of the first chapter, which means it will make for a nice bookend, so to speak. The line alludes to something Leila’s father used to call her—Leila-at-Large. It had to do with her always being on the move, about how she would need to fall between the cracks, undetected.
I then looked up “at large” in my Mac dictionary and found, serendipitously, that the term also has a sailing application having to do with the wind blowing from a favorable direction (okay, so I hadn’t ever heard of that, but I still have a lot of sailing research ahead of me—sure wish I could remember half of what I researched for Uncharted!)
So, I have at least a portion of the title: Portrait of --- At Large. The question is, do I go with Portrait of a Girl At Large, even though Leila is no longer a girl—she's now twenty-four. Or, I could go with Portrait of Leila-at-Large. Hmmm...I'm just not sure which works better. I'm open to opinions! Aside from finishing the first draft, and deciding on the title, I need to figure out if the A in ‘at’ should be capitalized.
Oh, and in case anyone is curious about some elements of the story, I have a pin board on Pinterest where I am gathering bits of information and images.