That’s the name I give to my stories or snippets when saving them with a word processor. I also add either a number or the name of the protagonist to distinguish one file from another. This is because coming up with a suitable title usually takes me as much time as writing down the story. Finding suitable titles can be a real pain so I’ve been looking for ways that could help me tackle this problem.
Title before story
A tip I once got was to come up with a title before writing the story. Once the title was on paper, the next step would be to develop the story. Although this worked for a while, the stories felt more like an assignment than something I had in mind. Normally, I have a vague concept or a specific scene that I develop into a short story. If I put down a title first, then I feel I’m writing my story so it suits the title since most of the time, the idea I have doesn’t fit the title.
The title-before-story method isn’t one that works for me, so I went on the Internet looking for ideas that might work. And I found all kinds of advice: keep your title short; use the name of the protagonist; make it appealing enough so people pick up your book. Another advice was ‘be free’. It comes down to this: you’re the author so you know when you’ve got the right title. It comes from your heart. (Honestly, might there something be wrong with me then? Should I check with my GP?)
Most of the other tips I found repeated the same things I mentioned above. I eventually found a promising tip on http://www.rachellegardner.com/2010/03/how-to-title-your-book/. I haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t say whether it works or not. But I’m curious.
I keep looking for other techniques to tackle my titling problem. So I’d love to hear from you: How do you title your stories?