Monday, April 14, 2014

Those Darn Titles

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s being ridiculous. Most people look to connect Point A to Point B. I love to connect Point A to Point Magical Paperclip. Every writer has at least one strong point. Take my lovely co-podcasters: Emily has a knack for tying up loopholes before they even appear, and Giles is the boss of active verbs (they are totally the bomb at many other things, but I don’t want them to get big heads about themselves, you know?). Working with them has improved my writing abilities tenfold. Yet, for all their help and guidance, there is one thing I still, for the life of me, cannot do.

Titles. Freakin’ titles, man.

I just don’t get it. I feel like a Bob Ross imitator who can only paint angry trees. Here’s a great example: you know Those In Between, the short story I posted last Monday? Well, it took an hour of brainstorming with my sister to come up with something even resembling a title. Check out some of my glorious failures:

Walter and Kevin
Murder at a Stoplight
Midnight Murder
Mercenary’s Meeting
Bones That Crunch in the Night

OK, so that last one was a bit of a joke. But still, you get the point. I am terrible at titles. I’m not even sure I love the one I settled on. And now I’m trying to come up with a better title for my serial novel, which is proving to be nearly impossible. Right now it’s called Darkness, a name that is actually the title for the first section of the book, not the entire novel.

I did everything the way you’re supposed to. I wrote out a list of the themes and feelings I want the story to convey. I looked up synonyms and tried cool, interesting twists. I tried the three-word method, I tried the that’s-so-crazy-it-might-work method. Every title I come up with falls as flat as a popped balloon. Nothing feels right.

There has to be an easier way to do this. Seriously. Is there something I’m missing? How do you come up with titles for things you write?

This message was brought to you by Michelle, a bazooka-wielding damsel who recently rediscovered her love for Nilla Wafers. If she isn’t writing, she’s probably practicing her skeptic’s gaze or reading Cyrano de Bergerac.

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