Title First?

I don’t always write the title before I have a story in mind… but when I do, it’s a damn good title.

At least, I think so.  I wonder how many other writers do this, this writing from the title?

Don’t get me wrong, most of my stories have proceeded from an actual story idea, and the title came later.  But for me, I often get an idea for a title I really like, and then I strain my brain to think up a story that makes sense with that title.

Just off the top of my head, Child Full of Stars worked that way.   “Man, that’s a great title.   I need to write a story with that title.”

The Tomatoes Bloom in Winter, too.   Bullets for Buddha.  The Fourth Dog.  Nice Weather We’re Having Today.  There are others, too.  I think at least a quarter of my stories start that way.

So, fellow writers, do any of you do this too?  Do you think the stories that start this way are better, worse, about the same as your story-first-then-title writing?

Just curious.

About Tao23

I write about my science fiction and fantasy writing--and plenty of other things--at sabarton.com

Posted on April 28, 2013, in Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. When I come up with a title first, it’s usually the first nanosecond in an epiphany where the novel unfolds, complete in my head. In the long slogs the title comes repeatedly, changes often and never fully satisfied me.

    • When I get the title first, it usually only comes with the setup for the story, not the ending or even much of the middle. It’s very common that I write the first quarter or half of a story in one sitting, then put it aside for a while. A few days or weeks later, something will occur to me that advances the story, maybe finishes it. Longer stories can go through this write-then-wait cycle three or four or even more times before I finish them up.

      Does this make me weird, even among writers? I’m not sure. Who the hell knows anything about writers? :-D

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