As a writer I find titles difficult. Sometimes they just appear like a lighthouse beam shredding through the dark but more often I am left struggling, worrying over ideas, pinching bits off, adding and subtracting until I'm convinced that what I am left with is as illuminating as a spent match.
On February 19 I wrote about the weird and wonderful book titles that are short listed each year for the Diagram Prize but I've been thinking about the great titles: the ones that stay with you and say something when you first pick them up and say something different when the story is over...
They are important to get right because it sets a temperture for what follows...
Here's a couple that spring to mind:
Books A HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE
(although I did once read a review complaining that it was overwritten and it should be really 50 years of...)
Short story I HAVE NO MOUTH BUT I MUST SCREAM one of the best short stories I've read and I am not a big sci fi fan. Written in the 60s by Harlan Ellison, the title and the story have stayed with me since I first read it.
Any personal favourites? Any tips for creating that all important first line of a story (which is what a title is, after all...)