There's a lot of different styles of coming about when writing a story. Some people like to plan everything out, some just worldbuild and go use that as a base, and some just make something up and see where it goes. All, and many others, are just as good as anything else. When people say that "that" is not the way to do something, it's always seems a bit stupid because just because one technique doesn't seem right to you, doesn't mean the end product isn't right itself. Yes, some things should be known afterwards, and consistancy is always appreciated, but some things shouldn't be torn down just because you don't agree.
What that has to do with making up titles I have no idea.
Did you catch my first meme
(which is totally awesome and you should totally pass around yourself)? Sometimes, for S&Gs, I'll just take my notebook and write down titles. To what? Not a damn thing, but it's fun and gets the creative juices going. They're just titles I think are fun. limiinal
, looks at it sideways, thought the first one was a Rorschach, and made up the genres associated with the titles, sometimes with a little idea of what the story itself is about. It was awesome, and so born the Rorschach Title Meme
, basing the book entirely on its cover (title).
And it's interesting what happens when you do that. From the first one grew Scarred
, based almost entirely from just seeing the title and figuring out a genre and basic story pitch. Limiinal herself had an idea based from one of the inkblots, the title of which she is more than welcome to. And it made me think.
How many writers out start entirely with the title? From what I've seen, coming up with a good title is usually excruciating, and even should you find one that feels good there's no guarantee that the publisher will approve it (I've no idea what it was originally, but it was the publishing house that started Twilight
on it's themed names), so it seems like a crapshoot anyway. But still, to have no idea whatsoever, and then just looking at a title comes a flood of ideas.
I want to try it sometime. I mean, I already am with Scarred
, but I didn't realize that until later. And it seems to be a full lenght story. But it's something to think about for a short story experiment later, just having a title and nothing else, and seeing what comes from it. No background, no real world building, just whatever one uses to write with and your off.
What I like about this meme, notwithstanding that I helped originate it, is how different, and sometimes the same, people see the titles. Some saw similar themes from the title, and labeled it such a genre. And others were total curveballs, having almost no crossing pattern at all. But it says something about just what the title can say and do for a reader (and the writer for that matter). Judging a book by its cover assumes it's there physically in front of you. But how often have you tried to recommend a book to a friend and gotten no further than the title before, "eh, it doesn't really sound like someting I'm interested in"?
Sometimes the title is a plot point, or something in the book/world. Sometimes it's a reference to something in the book, maybe something actually said or just the theme of/from the story. Sometimes it makes no real sense at all, and it itself is reverse engineered to fit the book somehow. Sometimes it just makes for a good marquee in bright lights. But what that title is does say something about the story itself, whether you want it too or not. And I happen to like finding out what some titles mean.