Current Week's Word Count: 6,648
The White Lilac Total: 53,900 of 90,000
Favorite Book of the Month: Sent By: Margaret Peterson Haddix
I love creating stories, but I come very close to hating the creation of titles. My aversion to titles leads me to call my chapters by thrilling names like, "Chapter One," or "Chapter Twenty-two." I normally follow a sequential pattern, but it could be fun to start a book with the last chapter number and work back to one. So when I move onto naming the actual written manuscript I have nothing to base my ideas off of. Most of the "working" titles I come up with are more for me to know what I want to do with the story. Like, The CEO Killer, The Kingdomless King or The Plane Ride Home. (Not Actual Titles. Titles have been changed to protect the innocent.) Perhaps I should try using a word aside from 'the' to begin the creative process.
I have been blessed because when I sit down to write each day the empty page does not fill me with dread. But when I sit down with a pen and paper preparing to title my new work to death, I stare and stare at that page. Then I start dropping phrases like those above until I have used every creative atom in my brain at least once, some more than once. When I am too tired to think of anything else, I hold a democratic vote and give myself unlimited ballots. (And yes, most of my elections are fixed. It works better this way.) For tie-breakers I ask family members and writer friends. With the new title sworn in, I hold my breath and wonder when my creative atoms will be recovered enough for another brain storm.
If there is a system for creating exciting titles I would love to know it. As you can see from my current work-in-progress title I am still growing in the title creation process. Let me assure you, this title is much better than what I used to call it when it was only an idea. I shudder when I remember it. Until the day when perfect titles blossom on my page, full of mystery, adventure and magnetism, I will struggle through the empty page and corrupt election system.
Question: How do you come up with titles?