Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rainy Night in Georgia...and other artistic titles

Or should I say "A Rainy Day in Georgia" because that describes it better! But after 2 days of relatives, turkey, relatives, and more turkey--the bleak winter skies and damp weather is a welcome change. If this were a bear talking, I'd be ready to hibernate :)

Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday, whether travel was part of your plans or not.

Wanted to talk a bit here about titles. How do artists come up with them? Song titles, film titles, book titles? As a writer, I can only speak from my own experience. Unfortunately, the answer is "I don't know." They just appear, whether suddenly or after anxious, painful extraction. The interesting mix of muse/inspiration/keywords floating around in my head finally puts something coherent together.

What confuses me is how the title search for each book is different. I'm working on Book 4. Right now it is untitled. It took me awhile to think of the title for Book 2, and it wound up being a suggestion from someone. Book 1 and 3 were instant flashes. If I were looking at patterns, perhaps all odd-numbered books will have easy titles and all even books will be a struggle? Who knows? Each is different, much like each artistic creation is different.

Sometimes playing with key words helps. I write key words which describe the themes/feelings I'm trying to evoke. Then I look up all those words in a thesaurus and dictionary. Sometimes this approach helps. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I'm just walking through the produce section of a grocery and BAM! The title wops me upside the head. Other times, it takes forever to figure one out. (Which seems to be the pattern for Book 4...)

But no matter which differences occur between artistic creations, bottom line--I love all of them. I love the ones I struggled with and I love the ones which came easily. These people living in my imagination sometimes teach me more than "actual" people do. And even the antagonists--my heart goes out to them. They're simply misunderstood, which makes them all the more human.

Off to write on this rainy, chilly Southern day. Hope the muse finds each of you as well, and happy holidays!

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