March 8th, 2021

charioteer

25 Days of Writing: Day 14

14. At what point in writing do you come up with a title?

Usually, the name comes to me fairly soon. Occasionally before I even start writing! (There's a plot bunny named "Summit Blues" that has not a single word to its name.) Mind you, that's pretty rare; but it is true that, if I don't have a title to hang on the fic, I find it hard to get down to writing. Sometimes that means I use a working title, and hope that something better will eventually occur to me. Most of the time it does. If not, then somewhere towards the end I will start googling for quotations, quips, or sayings that have some relation with the theme or subject of the story in the hope that one will hit the spot. Normally, I find something in under an hour. And that's only if I have to go hunting.

It's rare for me to post a story and then alter the title; but it did happen recently. I wrote a M*A*S*H story in which BJ got a tin of peanut butter cookies from his wife, leading to some slice-of-life banter involving Hawkeye and Frank Burns. I initially gave it the title, "The Peanut Gallery"; but, at the last minute, I whipped in and altered it to "The Peanut Butter Gallery".

There was one multi-part story, though, that never did get its proper name. It was written piecemeal in response to a prompt on maryrenaultfics: "apple". As I couldn't think of a title, I simply referred to it as "my applefic". I did this so long that, when it came time to collect all the ficlets together, I couldn't think of it in any other way. So "Applefic" it remains to this day.

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