Titles… Titles… Titles…

Some come easy, some come hard, and some never come.

I have a love/hate relationship with titles. Sometimes I write a great story, but I just cannot come up with a decent title or at least one I like. My newest story, “The Little Sneak”, stayed unpublished for over a week while I tried to come up with a title. It had a working title of “Max & Min”, the names of the two brothers, but I really don’t like titles that are just the names of the characters in the story; I think it is lazy and, more often than not, from experience, the stories tend to be terrible. But I just couldn’t think of a title! “The Little Sneak” was the best of a bad bunch, and I’m reasonably happy with it. But now I have a problem with what to call the follow-up.

The next part is already half-written and sees Min tease his older brother about masturbation. Poor Max, I feel his embarrassment.

I agonised for weeks to come up with a title for my novel, “Becoming Kes”, not the best, but it’s okay, I suppose. The half-written sequel novella is also titleless. And I have a series about some college guys going on a final school trip to France stuck in my titleless hell.

And then there are stories where the title is there from the start, or it just leaps from the screen as I’m writing, “A Black Cappucino…” was a title I had in my head from the start. Sometimes the title writes the story.

For every title hell, there is a title heaven, and the pain of coming up with a title never spoils the pleasure of writing the story.

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2 Replies to “Titles… Titles… Titles…”

  1. I thought ‘Becoming Kes’ was quite apt for the story. This story discribes the transformation from the (innocent and clueless) Jay, to the person he became with the name he was given by the institute to be able to do their ‘anonymous’ study and experiments. So he became an other person.
    With short stories it can be more difficult, because you do not want to give away the plot in the title. I guess that is why people revert to using the names of the main characters as the title.

    As for the sequel to ‘The little sneak’ you could think in the lines of the fact that Min is no longer spying on Max, but out in the open about it and even confronting him. Of course I do not know what is happening in the story, is Min just teasing Max or is there an element of teaching about the pleasures of masturbation?

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    1. The next installment sounds great. You write about masturbation so well so its bound to be first rate. I suppose “Educating Min” is too hackneyed as far as titles go.

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