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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

chant_1
Apr. 22nd, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
I love posts like this one, Jon! I really enjoy reading about how other peoples' minds work. For me, I do what someone else mentioned, and usually come up with a placeholder title that is relevant to the story. Afterwards, I brainstorm for the perfect title: something again relevant, and yet intriguing. It's not easy, and I don't ever fancy myself a good namer, at least at stories. I always feel like I'm too close to do it justice. Does that make sense? I'm intrigued by those of you who need a title before they can write, though. Similarly, I've heard people say they need the perfect first line before they can write a story. Awesome!
jongibbs
Apr. 22nd, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
It takes all sorts, right? :)

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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