Thursday, February 28, 2008

Titles and a silly contest

A good title for a short story or novel is not always easy to come by. The writer wants them to sound just right.

Most of my better short stories begin with a title. I come up with an idea and title I like, then they lead me down the path of the story. I don't create the title in a dead zone, without any thought of the story, but the two seem to come together about the same time.

Sometimes, however, I have a story idea without a title. Then, once the story is complete, I try to come up with a title. This almost never works for me. I usually end up with weak titles this way.

To help with this, I keep a list a possible story titles. Often I'll snag a line from a song or poetry or Shakespeare, and retool it slightly for my own ends.

As an example, the title for my short story "Deep in the Land of the Ice and Snow" (coming out March 15 in the Flashing Swords anthology The Return of the Sword) in part came from a line in a song. Can you guess the song? And the band?

If you can guess those two things I'll ... hmm, what will I do? Okay, I've got it! If you are the first person to guess which song and band gave me the idea for the title of "Deep in the Land of the Ice and Snow" I will use your name as a character in my next John Dee story. Of course I can't guarantee your namesake will survive such a story.

And to go soft on you, I'll give one hint: Think classic rock.

Come on. This is an easy one.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm.
Led Zeppelin- The Immigrant Song?

Nice selection on your music blog, by the way. I have been enjoying it.

cyn said...

i had a dream about you last night, ty! you were making music videos. =D one was a madonna song and it surprised me. haha!

i've been dreaming a lot about writing during the querying process. you were the first "friend" to show, tho. =)

Ty Johnston said...

Aha! Anonymous got it first try! That was an easy one, I admit.
Now I'll have to have Dee kills someone named Aonymous.

Hey cyn! That wasn't a dream. That was a subliminal message from my radioDarkbow blog.

Anonymous said...

My name is Anony Mous and I do NOT give you the right to kill anyone bearing my name.

Anonymous said...

Impostor!