As Mr. Rochester has an insane, murderous wife secretly living in the attic of his home, I have a strained relationship with titles.
For high school papers, titles were simple. “Essay #1,” “Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood,” “Assignment #4: My Boredom with A Walk in the Woods.” Okay, the latter is only what I wished to title a paper, but you get the picture.
In college, my Creative/Analytical Writing-based professors either had specific titles for everyone, or left it up to us which I thought was horrific. My Professional and Technical Writing-based professors mostly had specific titles too, based on certain assignments. We did have to self-title a few creative projects, but the guidelines for those, from what I remember, still were a little rigid. Then there were Fiction classes, where the titles of my writing were up to – you guessed it – me. I would spend grueling amounts of time (30-40 minutes or so) on just. the. title. I can’t possibly create a title before writing anything; my purpose and points almost always deviate from the intended course and never seem to fit the title I may have been excited to jot down. After writing, I can never find a title that fits my story. It’s either too cheesy or too abstract, so I fall back on Ole Faithful, also known as “Untitled.” Again, titles to me are like an insane, murderous wife secretly living in an attic; a responsibility I cannot avoid that is holding me back from my true love, the story.
Sometimes, my mind is flooded with ideas for titles. Random strings of words that as of yet do not have stories, but may show some potential. Here’s a little taste:
Sounds from the Warehouse or Sounds of the Warehouse
My Life as Holly Golightly
Serious Life, Silly Strife
Imagination Running Wild, Straight Into Reality
Our Last Sunset
I hope you read through that list slowly, taking in each word, syllable, and letter because although they may seem random to you, to me they have a purpose. For now anyway.
Also, I have a *thing* with title capitalization. Unless you’re one or two letters long, your first letter should be capitalized, WORD. I don’t know if it’s an OCD thing or just a defiance of some rule I learned, but besides the exception I just mentioned, all words should be capitalized to make me happy, or, make them all lowercase. Uniform, people!