I mentioned in my first post that I have loved to write ever since I was little, but obviously over the years I’ve improved ( I won’t use the word significantly; that’s down to personal opinion) in most aspects of writing. I’ve definitely not improved in all aspects though; my imagination at the age of 7 was far better than my imagination now (my stories about flying cats and how chocolate and vodka (!) are made were much better than some of the unimaginative drivel I’ve produced recently), and I was also more confident in showing my writing to people (for example, the vodka story was a big hit back in the day, but the aforementioned drivel is for my poor eyes only). However, the thing that I have always struggled with, and still struggle with to this day, is coming up with a good title.
Now, I know what you’re thinking (or maybe you’re not, sorry about that, but please keep reading), ‘but how do you know what you’re writing about without a title?’ or ‘that’s the most important part!’ but for me it’s one of the most difficult aspects of the writing process. I prefer to set out the plot and write quite a lot, if not all, of the story before deciding on what it should be called. That way the title fits the story and not the other way round. When I decide on a title first I feel restricted and like I have to make whatever I’m writing fit in with it. In a way, I find that quite scary because some of the greatest sentences I could ever come up with could be missed out by writing that way. Sometimes I wish I found it easier but I guess everyone has their own way of doing things.
I’ll give you a few examples of how terrible I am at thinking of titles. The two stories I mentioned in the first paragraph were given the very original and witty titles of ‘cat angels’ and ‘how chocolate and vodka came into being’ respectively. As well as that I have numerous files on my laptop entitled ‘article (title undecided)’, or ‘story one’ or ‘story one alternative’ or ‘blog post (title undecided)’ or ‘short story’, you get the idea. Also, some of my best titles have been thought of by my English teachers or one of my family members. At school I often handed in a piece of creative writing with a very brilliant title not thought of by me and taken all the credit. I feel like a fraud, and I hope some of you fellow writers can find it in your hearts to forgive me? I promise I’ll practise and who knows, maybe one day I can write a story the conventional way, starting with the title!
Here’s a screenshot of one of my writing folders as proof 🙂
Anyway, does anyone else find titles difficult? I’d love to find someone else who doesn’t think it’s important that they come first. If not titles, what else does everyone find difficult about the writing process?