[Amazing Title Here]

A couple of my friends laugh at such stunning works of authoristry like the one above. Generally I use something like that as a placeholder when I’m not certain where the story is going or what will be the end.

Makes sense that a lot of they don’t get very far most of the time.

On the other hand, I’m not great at coming up with titles most of the time. I’m either spinning a title off that I think is fine, or I can’t think of one for the life of me. Some people seem to have a knack for it, and I don’t think I’m one of them.

So I always laugh when friends ask me for possible titles. Michelle Tuesday asked me about this last night. Incredibly, I had a few ideas, but I’m not sure whether or not she’ll be able to use them.

It’s fun to bandy about words in IM, though. She was going back and forth with another author we know who loves his puns. Maybe it’s easier to name some sorts of things. A group of musicians might be easier than another short story when there are already a few. Perhaps it’s just because it’s a defined thing, unlike the short story that’s slowly pouring from my brain.

Sometimes slow. Often unfocused when the title is missing. Is that what titles are for? To focus, to alert to what’s ahead for the reader, to bring out a main theme?

Working titles are sometimes meant to bridge between the beginning of the story and when the author can find something meaningful to title the work. My working title for The Art of Science was Janie’s Robot. I knew it wasn’t the best, but it kept me focused on one of the aspects of the story.

How do you use titles? Where do you find them? Do they pop out fully formed or does it take a lot of tweaking?

P.S. Thank you, Sarah, for the title for my book The Art of Science.

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