Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Titled

I stumbled across an interesting question today on the Verla Kay Boards.


Have you ever written a story based on a title you just loved?



And my answer is 100% yes (*as you'll see if you click on the above link). It was raining (okay I can't confirm that but I wanted to create a bit of atmosphere) and wind was rattling the windows of the bus. I was stuck in traffic outside St. George's Hall (a very famous building in Liverpool - google it***) when I decided I wanted to write a book called 'The Poisoned Apple'. And then I did. Okay, that sounds a wee bit like I clicked my fingers and it was done but you know what I mean.

It's something I've done quite a few times for short stories as well. In fact, I have no idea what I'm going to write for the CinemaSpec anthology, but I'm hoping it has the title 'Ugly Duckling'. Which I think is a good title (Hans Christian Anderson agrees with me) though not quite as good as Barry Napier's title, 'End Credits'.

So, have any of you ever thought of the title and then worked your story around it?



***A web link to a panoramic view of the gorgeous St George's Hall.

16 comments:

Natalie L. Sin said...

"Symmetry or Something Like It."

I don't even remember what the original story was and what I ended up writing only relates to the title if you bend your mind a little to the left. Still, I love it : )

Catherine J Gardner said...

Ooh! That's a good one, Natalie.

Wendy Withers said...

As boring as it sounds, I decided to write (still unwritten) a trilogy where the titles of the books came from the character names. Then, I had to figure out the names! So, the first book will be Olivia, the second book will be Wolf, and the third book will be Govi. (Olivia and Govi were the first names for me to come up with. The title for the second book and the other character name came after I'd written 1/3 of the first book, which still isn't finished.) I've been afraid to write the books in the concept up until now, because I didn't think I'd be able to do them justice. However, I will be submitting the book proposal for the first book in my grant submission to A Room of Her Own.

Angela said...

Never a title, but all of my storys come from a single image: a ruby embedded in a girl's hand, a tree with a door in it, a wall with thousands of drawers. The one I have yet to write will be because I saw a plastic grocery bag flapping in a tree one day. I know it will be about something...ominous. *evil cackle*

Catherine J Gardner said...

Hey, that doesn't sound boring at all Wendy. Hope you finish them one day. :)

Catherine J Gardner said...

Some fabulous images there, Angela.

Aaron Polson said...

Okay, yes...
"Uncle Jackhammer and the Clockwork-Beet Field War"

How that one found its way into my skull, I'll never know. I think I was mowing the lawn at the time.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Now that is just odd. And I thought my mind went off in weird directions.

Barry Napier said...

Hey. Oddly enough, that title AND story had been in my head for a while. It was this antho that coaxed them out. Now let's just hope the editors like the story as much as you liked the title.

Jeremy said...

"The Night is a Wilderness of Dead Children."

It was a short short story, but I've liked the title so much over the years, I've always thought of writing a longer version.

K.C. Shaw said...

"Secrets Bought and Sold." Although I can't finish that sucker. I think I've tried half a dozen times over the course of several years, and I'm starting to think that title's cursed!

Brenda said...

I think most of my stories are written around a title that came to me...I don't think I've ever written a story and then come up with a title...

J.C. Tabler said...

Doing it right now with two stories:

"The Coal Room"

and

"One Lump or Two, Balgarog the Eviscerator?"

Catherine J Gardner said...

Some great titles there guys.

"One Lump or Two, Balgarog the Eviscerator?" Oh my. :)

katey said...

"Ugly Duckling" IS a great title, particularly in light of the theme of CinemaSpec. That should be a fun one!

I do get obsessed with certain phrases and want to use them as a centerpiece/title/chapter heading at times. Those are the only times my titles aren't absolute crap. And, as lame as this is, sometimes I get obsessed with titles/lines from songs or poems and decide I could turn them inside out somehow and make them into stories.

I just finished a Caroline, No that might make Brian Wilson want to beat me up if he accidentally stumbled over it. I'm confident that I'm younger and quicker, though, and he'll never catch me.

Right.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Hi Katey

I sometimes think I'd like to pick a random song and try to write a story inspired by it. :)