Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Single-Word Titles

It’s time for another Top Ten list from That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is “Books With Single-Word Titles.” I thought this would be really easy, and then I looked through my list of books on Goodreads and realized…it’s not so easy. At least, not for me with the amount of books on my Read and Want to Read shelves, which I generally want to stick to for these weekly posts. And because it is a Top Ten list, after all, I didn’t want to include any books I didn’t really enjoy. Below is what I came up with, which includes 8 books I’ve read and 2 that I haven’t, but have a very good feeling I will like more than the average books I read. For once, my list is ordered 10 to 1, with #1 being my favorite of all the books on the list.

10. Redshirts by John Scalzi
Between enjoying the 2 books of Scalzi’s that I’ve read so far and being a Star Trek fan, not to mention my husband’s recommendation, I expect to really like this book too.

9. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
I read Brant’s second book before reading this, his first, and have plans to get to it soon. His second book (Blessed Are the Misfits) is great, so I have high hopes for this one.

Pithea cover, Kindle

8. Pithea by Kristi Drillien
Bridging the gap between the books on the list that I haven’t read and those that I have is my own book (which, of course, I have read).  (See more about this book here.)

7. The Battlemage by Taran Matharu
I sort of cheated with the “The,” but ran out of books and wanted to fill out the final spot. This is the third book in a trilogy that that I really liked, and my favorite of the 3.  (See my review for this book here.)

6. Sneak by Evan Angler
This is book 2 in the Swipe series, which contains 4 books with 1-word titles. I’ve only read 2 of them so far. (See my review of this book here.)

5. Holes by Louis Sachar
Great book, great movie. If you haven’t read or seen this, you really should! (See my review of this book here.)

4. Thr3e by Ted Dekker
Great book, not such a great movie. I definitely recommend the book, though. (See my review of this book here.)

3. Priceless by Joel & Luke Smallbone
This book has a subtitle, but I’m ignoring that for this list. Actually, the 2nd book on the list has a subtitle too…oh well. (See my review of this book here.)

2. Obsessed by Ted Dekker
I tried to not include any 2 books by the same author, but oh well. I have not read this book for many years, but I read it a few times in my early adult days. I remember loving it, but plan to re-read it soon to see if it holds up.

1. Illusion by Frank E. Peretti
A new favorite of mine by my favorite author.  (See my review of this book here.)

What are your favorite books with single-word titles? If you also posted a TTT, share your link so I can check it out!

Daily Writing Check-in: March 3, 2019

Words/Time:  1 hour, 36 minutes finishing item #2 in my current writing goals list, and starting on #3.

Finishing #2 entailed finishing the outline for “Unexpectedly.” There are 4 character arcs for this book that I am outlining individually from each other:
Juris
Evan
Acronis
Rusalki

Today I finished Evan’s section, and completely outlined Acronis’s and Rusalki’s. I also hit on an idea for how to start the entire novel, showing the connection between all 4 characters right away, before the narrator, Drear, splits off their stories. I still don’t know for sure if I want the stories to be told simultaneously or linearly, but I’m pretty excited to have the starting point.

Upon realizing that I’m progressing through my list of long-term writing goals much more quickly than I anticipated, I decided to start keeping track of how long each one took as I move on to #3. (This is a count of actual days worked, so not counting days where I skipped working on writing, or worked on something else.)

1. Outline “Outcast” – Time spent: 12 days

2. Outline “Unexpectedly” – Time spent: 7 days

3. Re-outline “The Seeger Book” – I wrote the first draft of this for NaNoWriMo in 2015. It was the 2nd book I wrote that month, and came in at 43,672 words. It is a murder-mystery, and only the 2nd one I have ever attempted (the 1st murder-mystery I ever wrote was earlier that month, and it really fell flat). It needs some overhauling and almost an entire mid-section, because I jumped from somewhere in the middle to the climax when the end of the month neared and I realized I was out of time to figure out the rest of the plot. I also think I need to re-think the suspects, clues, etc. of the mystery aspect.

4. Re-outline “Vin”

5. Re-outline “Protector”

I do expect #3 to take considerably longer than the other 2. The first draft was not very well planned, so I have a lot of work ahead of me to figure out how the story even needs to go. I’m starting with reading the first draft to remember all of my ideas. Unfortunately, it is still in full NaNo-form, because I didn’t touch it at all afterwards.

Sometimes I’ll spend the first few weeks after November ends doing a quick clean-up of what I wrote–mostly removing things I marked as NaNo fodder and at least doing a quick spell check. This is usually better to do while the story is still fresh, and then it’s good to let it sit for some time.

So I’ve already done a quick spell-check, and I’ll remove the NaNo fodder as I read.

Daily Writing Check-in: March 2, 2019

Words/Time: 1 hour, 18 minutes working on the outline of “Unexpectedly.”

There are 4 character arcs for this book that I am outlining individually from each other:
Juris
Evan
Acronis
Rusalki

Today, I completed the outline for Juris and created more than half of the outline for Evan.

For Juris’s arc, Juris is actually not the main character. The story is mostly about a developing relationship, and is shown more from his love interest’s perspective. I wasn’t sure if that was the right way to go at first, because the idea of this book is to show the lives of 4 people who are on 2 different sides of the same war, and I’m really showing someone else’s life more than the life of the person who’s actually in the war. However, I like the way we learn who Juris is through the eyes of his love interest, and frankly, the drama is better this way.

For Evan’s arc, I am struggling with a psychological component near the end of his arc that I have to make sure to pull off correctly, to avoid leaving the reader guessing about something that I don’t intend to be confusing. I’ll tackle this fresh tomorrow.

May 7

Time worked:  :50

Work done:  Finished rewriting the very beginning of the story. It’s stronger now, though could probably still benefit from some editing. I also wrote a number of notes for a gap of time I’ve always avoided thinking about. I don’t even know if there’ll be a story there, but I was hit with some ideas today, so I wrote them down.

Writing practice from a few days ago follows. Again remember it’s raw material and may not be entirely clear what’s going on. Also from the perspective of Evan Thossan.


My great-grandfather was 110 years old when I was sent to live with him. Think about that for a second. One hundred ten years old. That’s not unusual, I know, but it’s still old. Now think about how old I was when my parents sent me to take care of him. I was ten. That’s an age difference of one hundred years. I’ll never understand why it fell to me to take care of the old man.

Great-grandpa liked to be called Roba. That’s what he said he had called his great-grandfather when he was younger. I think it’s from some old language that our ancestors used to speak, but I couldn’t even tell you what that was. “Roba” never really cared to share his reasoning with me. He only insisted I call him that…when I wasn’t calling him “sir.”

Roba and I didn’t get along at all. I guess it’s because I was never good at what I did. I was supposed to help him with everyday stuff, like making meals and going to the bathroom. It was boring and sometimes disgusting, so no, I didn’t put my heart into it. I was still going to school, too, not that he cared. He complained about my absence during the day, even when I reminded him that my parents had said they wanted me to finish school.

Every day I wished he would just die already. I mean, he was old anyway. He’d lived long enough, and he was keeping me from having a life too. When I first went to live with him, I remember wondering how many stories he’d tell me, how many skills he could teach me. But he never wanted to talk about anything like that. He just wanted to yell at me for burning supper, or ask me why I wasn’t strong enough to chop the wood right.

Even after I left to join the militia, he lived a few more years. Long enough to see me become a respected Swordsman, even if he couldn’t admit it. Not long enough to notice his sword was missing though.

May 5

Time worked:  1:00

Work done:  Did some revising of the opening paragraphs of my story, which were awkward at best, didn’t do a great job of introducing the story, and tended to ramble. Not done yet, but I’m more rewriting than revising, so that takes time. I also drew up a quick intro to the character I’ve been focusing on lately, from my narrator’s PoV.


From the Pen of Drear: Evan Thossan

I didn’t meet Evan until recent years, but I had heard plenty about him. Naolin had worked with him a few times, and didn’t have many nice things to say about him. Missy had met him too, and she didn’t like him at all. She said he was egotistical, condescending, and just plain mean.

To say that Evan thinks highly of himself would be an understatement. He is very good with a sword and someone you would want around in a fight. In some ways, his happiness depends on being useful to his militia. And he definitely is.

Back in those days, though, he had what some might call an attitude problem. In fact, that’s exactly what got him kicked out of the first militia he joined. That and his tendency to go to extremes to prove himself. He learned his lesson, though, and toned down his less-desirable qualities once he was brought into a new militia. That was when Naolin and Missy first met him.

As Naolin described him, “It was exciting to work with someone as strong and skilled with a sword as Evan. I just wish he didn’t constantly treat me like a child. From the first time I slipped on the ice, he decided that I wasn’t good enough to be in the same militia as he was. He treated me like a commoner. I would never tell him this, but I did admire his abilities. If he would only keep his mouth shut, he could easily become a leader in the militia.”

Missy had nothing better to say: “Most of what bothered me about him at first was how he treated Quinn. I felt like Quinn and I were in the same position–initiates who probably shouldn’t have been on the mission in the first place–so when Evan talked down to Quinn constantly, I felt like his words were aimed at me too. I’m not sure if it was better or worse that he didn’t even bother to speak to me most of the time. Probably worse, considering the horrible things he said about me, even after I’d saved his life.”

After meeting him myself, I wish I could say that they have exaggerated, but I don’t think I can. I do understand him better; he has had plenty of obstacles to overcome in his life–enough to make him feel like he’s superior to others who didn’t have the same trouble. If only he could find a better way to express his satisfaction at what he has achieved.

Evan joins us in “Adventures in Pithea”.