Blog: I’m Bad At Beginnings.

I am really bad at choosing titles for my projects.

It never starts with a title, never. It nearly always begins with some small detail, a picture or image, some sound or smell or perhaps a line of conversation. The story grows from there. In my notes and my head it gets a place holder name. A door for a home, one of the serialised stories I am currently writing was always and still is in my head Fyonn and Squigg, Mr Rowes’ Demon was Ethan and Spencer.

A lot of the time it is the thing that I struggle with the most. A good title is key in piquing the curiosity of your reader. Titles can then become iconic. The Lord of the Rings, I, Robot, 1984. It is hard to move past that place holder name, I become attached to it over the course of the writing. Even this blog post, the title currently reads “I suck at titles BLOG POST.”

First lines are an issue for me too. A good first line lets the reader know what they are in for, it sets a tone. Ray Bradbury’s “It was a pleasure to burn” from Fahrenheit 451 is a fantastic opening line. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Not just a great opening line but by accounts where Tolkien began writing all of Middle Earth, very fitting. A great opening line hooks the reader in, and they, along with titles are what I probably spend the most time agonising over. The project will be done but I will be staring at the top of the page, the title and first line. Sometimes a change in first line is for the better but it means rearranging somethings else. It is worth it in the end though.


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