Yesterday, my neighbor and I stood outside discussing the latest news in the ‘hood. As we were talking, thunder clouds started circling overhead.
“They’re spinning toward morning. Garbage ditches tomorrow,” he commented. Looking up again, he remarked, “Going fast.”
I understood the meaning behind the idioms. Clouds were moving toward the east, heavy rain in the night will flood the ditches and debris will float (compliments of our city’s horrible drainage system), and the thunderstorms will move quickly through the area.
As we were talking, I felt that familiar brain tickle. My next story was in the amoeba stage. The local dialect was shelved in favor of generic. While holding up my end of the conversation, I was mentally shaping the first paragraph:
Above my head, heavy malevolent clouds the color of a dying iris were spinning furiously toward the east. A strong wind pushed me away from the sunset, but I pushed back even as the rain poured down. Storm God or no, I was not turning around. I was leaving the pain behind and my only hope was to move toward the end of the dying day.
My neighbor unknowingly picked the title of my book. Going Fast is joining my multitude of WIPs. I don’t have a synopsis yet. I don’t know if the main character will be male, female or even human. I have no idea the genre of my latest escapade. All I have is the beginning and the title.
I like simple titles. I’m more comfortable with two words or less. I don’t know if that’s saying something about my minimalistic tendencies or simple laziness. Looking through my overweight writing folder, most of the titles are minimalists.
Collide, Dog, Heritage, Snow People, and Zero are only a few in the triple-digit pack. ABC, Don’t Know and Uhmm are a few of my lazier titles. Regardless of minimalism or laziness, I know the story (or at least the beginning) behind every title.
How do you pick your titles? Do you write the story before you title it or does the title itself inspire the story? Does inspiration for stories strike you at will or do you have to will it to appear?
Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch