Monday, February 22, 2016

Where do great titles come from?

See? I gotta be "That Guy" again.

I never give much thought to titles.

Halfway through my first book I thought I should come up with a title. What I came up with reflected the name of the lake in the move, which was Overtree. My response, because of the set up of the landscape was to call the novel UNDER THE OVERTREE.

My second novel was going to be called INDEPENDENCE DAY, and then that rather massive movie was announced with the same name, so I changed it to FIREWORKS.

I did a book set in a town called Serenity falls. So because I liked the name of the town, it became the name of my book.

That's about as much thought as goes into titles and character names for me. For me it is always about the story and the characters first. The rest is just kind of dressing.

Occasionally a line from a song or a a poem will work their way in there. SMILE NO MORE  was taken from Poe's "The Haunted Palace" the actual line is "And laugh-but smile no more." I found it chilling and as the novel is about a dead, insane clown, it worked.

When i decided to write a Jonathan Crowley story that involved a haunted train, I looked up song titles for trains until I found the one I liked best. It was more because the idea amused me than anything else. "Black Train Blues" was the result. I did a couple more stories with Crowley for the same series of anthologies so I looked a bit more "Blank White Page" and "That Old Black Magic" were the results.

Again, mostly because the notion amused me.

That's about all I can contribute on this subject, I'm afraid. Except to say  I've always wanted to call a short story "Paint It Black" but the story hasn't come around to lend itself that title yet.

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