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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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Sue Wentz
Apr. 21st, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
It took me five days just to name my cat!

Usually when a plot of mine is still in the embryonic stage, I'll give it an off-the-cuff working title just because I need a file name. Sometimes the working title sticks and sometimes it doesn't.

Right now one of my WIP's is called TIMELESS, which must be a super title because a bazillion other authors have already used it. That's one I'll most likely want to change. (I'm sort of hoping that inspiration strikes, or the Earth gets hit by a giant meteor or something and I won't have to sweat too much over the renaming process.)

On the other hand, I do have another WIP in which the title and plot popped into my brain simultaneously. I call that one EVERY THREE WEEKS and I think it's going to be a keeper.
Apr. 21st, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
Simultaneous plot idea AND title = :)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



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