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 My newest story, “The Little Sneak”, stayed unpublished for over a week while I tried to come up with a title.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.