Silly right? But this is a huge success for me. Titles have been my bane, my downfall, my curse. The thing that I fail at worse than worst. And here, finally, someone found one of my titles not just ‘not bad,’ but actually good! I’m dancing on air.
OK, yes, the story has other things that need to be fixed. Of course it does. That, after all, is why we join crit groups, right? To have others put the critical eye to our words and ideas before an editor or slush-reader takes one look and says ‘Nope!’ To show us where our ideas don’t make it across the page barrier into the reader’s mind, or where our story or plot took a short-cut and got lost. (One of my “favorites” has been the story arc that doesn’t arc, but spirals. Sigh.)
I’ve been working at titling, trying different methods: starting with a title and writing a story to fit, casting for a title last, searching quotes for title ideas after discovering the theme, etc. In each case, I’ve found it difficult. Even when starting with a title, I often have to change it by the end because it no longer seems right, somehow. But I have noticed, slowly and gradually, that my titles were getting a bit better, that it was becoming easier to come up with something acceptable, something I could nod at and think, “Yeah, that’s not bad.”
Does this mean I’m a titling wizard? Hah! Far from it. It just means that, once again I’ve re-discovered that practice makes my work improve. Hardly original, I know, but true nonetheless.
So how about you? Any titles you’re particularly proud of? Any techniques to share?