Friday, March 23, 2007

On Titles

I consider myself terrible at titles. For a long time, it seemed all my short stories started with the word "what": What We All Want, What Girls Want, What I Know about David, What It Comes To, What Happened to Us. (Actually, a number of my story titles begin with W: When You Want to Feel Suddenly Single, Working Relationship, Where Your Life Begins. This probably means something....) I hated those "what" titles because they seemed very MFAish, yet I couldn't think of anything better.

So I was very excited at the idea that this blog feels perfectly titled: Work in Progress (note the W; and note that as mentioned previously, it was actually my friend Denise who came up with this title). I thought Work in Progress would also make a great, easily remembered blog url. Little did I know that some guy named Scott already took this name, and despite the fact that apparently he hasn't posted anything since 2003, he is clinging to it. Other variations were also taken. Hence: workinprogressinprogress. That one was available! I try to think of that second "in progress" as a lovely little echo. But also, it just feeds my paranoia that I'm terrible at titles.

Poets are usually very good at titles; most of the ones I've met have a list of titles that are waiting for poems. (Probably none of them begin with "what.")

And here's an excellent piece about what makes a good title. No mention of the word "what."


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.