Thursday, April 22, 2010

Title Here

When I was ten years old, I woke from a dream that inspired me to write a book. I sat down at the Tandy computer in our office and hashed out my dream before printing it out on the dot matrix printer. This was the first time I ventured from the journal and into short stories. I pulled the story out of my hope chest to see if I could fit it into my blog but I didn't realize how long that story was, it couldn't be less than 3,000 words. I called the story, "What are Friends For?" It was a story about a junior high school girl who wanted so badly to be a model but after she gets an agent and starts modeling classes, she finds out that all the other girls are doing drugs.

After I wrote my first short story, I went on to write others but I started a bad habit where I couldn't write out my thoughts unless I came up with a title that I liked. More often than not, I had no problem writing from the title, but other times the title stifled my creativity. I've since come to terms with having to change the title to suit the completed work, but I didn't figure that out until just a few years ago. In 2003 I wrote about my struggle with titles:

July 23, 2003
In an attempt to write a book that I, myself, will enjoy reading, I've spent one month trying to come up with the title of my soon-to-be favorite book.
How I'm going to come up with the last thing a writer adds to a work of art, which is the first thing a reader sees, is daunting at best. I should just attempt to write this story and let the title gravitate to the cover.
The problem is, I have to want to buy this book and I only buy books with great titles.

However, I have, on many occasion, purchased a book with a sintilating title only to find a boring twenty page introduction that I more than flipped but more like skipped through and found later, after several chapters, I was lost to the point of no return.

Damn titles, they suck me in from across the book store. They belong to books of a certain size, with a certain binding and page thickness. The artwork on the cover hovers like parents in the front row of their child's first recital.

I know that not all book titles have a great story attached to them, but I have a weakness for book titles similar to that of girls who have a weakness for a hot guy. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I bring home a book only to find out that what's on the inside isn't as great as what's on the outside. But just like girls and hot guys, I'm not going to stop picking the ones with great covers.

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