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                  Story's all done. Now what the heck am I gonna call it?



When it comes to writing, I like to start with the title.

I do this for two reasons: Firstly, for me at least, coming up with a good name for a finished story can prove jolly difficult. I would liken it to trying to name your child or pet after they've lived with you for a couple of years - Mind you, at least with stories you can actually remember the names later. I can't tell you how many times I've called one of my three children by the wrong name.

As with most things, I learned this particular lesson the hard way (I mean about naming stories, not children). My first book was originally called The Garrulous Cat. Later, I changed it to A Cat of Nine tales Book One: Fur-Face, before eventually settling on plain old Fur-Face. Caused me all manner of stress and heartache, I can tell you.

After that, I changed my approach to one I used to use for songwriting ie: brainstorming title ideas first, then coming up with lyrics to fit.

There's nothing like a good title to light a creative fire beneath the old imagination. All three of my current WiPs (Waking up Jack Thunder, Abraham Lincoln Stole My Homework and Dead Doris) began as nothing more than titles. Sure, there's always a chance a publisher will want to call your book something else when they accept it, but provided the title fits with the finished story and it hasn't already been taken elsewhere, I don't think you need worry too much.


Of course, as with all things writerly, just because something works for one person doesn't necessarily mean it'll work for another. It's really about discovering what works best for you (and then doing it...a lot).



How about you?

How do you come up with story and book titles?



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Comments

beth_bernobich
Apr. 21st, 2012 03:32 pm (UTC)
How do I come up with titles? Usually with much pain and suffering and staring at walls. Some stories deliver the title along with themselves, but those are rare cases. For the hard cases, I dig through poetry to find the right phrase, or I look for some telling phrase and/or theme in the story itself.

jongibbs
Apr. 21st, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
It's funny. You'd think titles were the easy bit :)
beth_bernobich
Apr. 21st, 2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
Shorter is harder? :)

mary_j_59
Apr. 21st, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
Gosh, Jon, I don't know! Except that, like you, I often seem to come up with them first. Chances are, I have not yet come up with enough titles to have an orderly process about it. The only other thing I have to say is that I love that animation! Poor Rodin must be turning in his grave. ;)
jongibbs
Apr. 21st, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Lol, he's certainly giving it some thought anyway ;)
jongibbs
Apr. 21st, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
Drabble titles can be really tricky.

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