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28 April 2005 @ 03:02 am
Hi. I'm officially spamming you now.  
I've decided to go through my fics, and pick my favorite titles. Not my favorite fics, just my favorite titles, because for me? Titling is just a fucking bitch, and I end up falling to the floor and flailing and going fetal and whining like a sick child when confronted with disgusting grape flavored cough medecine, saying "Why do I haaaaaave to?" Anyway. So I'm picking my favorite titles, and talking about why I like them. That's what I'm doing.

And not writing my paper. Hesh, you.

1. Something But Nothing like a Thing, Sports Night, Dan/Casey. It's got the circular quality of much of the dialogue in the story, plus? Fun to say. And, sadly, much like a great deal of my conversation. "It's a thing that's like the other thing, but not that one thing, you know the one with the business? Yeah, it's not like that. It's like the other thing. You know the one with the guy in the place?"

2. After Ragnarok, BtVs, Faith/Buffy, Willow/Oz. Not my favorite fic I've ever written, certainly, though there are some lines in it that I like, but there's something about the phrase 'after ragnarok' that just seems so charged. I dunno. I like the sounds it's made up of, the hard 'k' sound. Plus, Norse mythology is so neat.

3. Grooving Up Slowly, due South, Rayk/Fraser. C'mon, it's from Come Together! Which may secretely be the coolest song of all times, though probably not, I just sometimes think it is. But Rayk? He's got to be good looking because he's so hard to see!

4. You & I Are ____, due South, Rayk/Fraser. Arty? Yes. From a Yusef Komunyakaa poem, and he's such an amazing poet, and I love him. But, also, I think there's something about the empty space that really ties into what pearl_o and I were doing with the lack of communication. In conclusion: Arty? Yes. But I like that about it.

5. Consider the Lilies of the Goddamned Field, due South, Rayk/Fraser, O, Brother Where Art Thou! But also, it's the kind of thing I find myself snapping at myself at 3 am (nearly now!) when I'm doing things like bemoaning my befouled and be-homeworked state. Also? Goddamned is in the title. Total winner.

6. Peanutbutter-Flies and Goat Songs, Sandman, Delirium, Hmm. This fic in and of itself was an experiment (which one could argue didn't work) but I like the title, though it's a blatant rip off of one of Salman Rushdie's chapter titles, but really, if you're going to rip off somebody, why NOT Salman Rushdie? Or Rufus Wainright, who, I think (if I can hazily remember writing this) wrote a song that's got the lyric "Peanutbutter and jealous of you" which may have even been the impetus for me to try and write something with Peanutbutter something in the title.

7. Waste Our Lights In Vain, Romeo & Juliet, Mercutio/Romeo Romeo/Rosaline Tybalt/Mercutio, It's just so apt for what happens to everybody in that damned frustrating play. Some day I have to do a thing about this story, actually. Like a 'writing of' experience post, or something. Someone poke me about that.

8. Caliban, SV, Lex/Clark, Louis is one of my favorite things that SV ever did. And it was all so Tempest anyway, with Louis being the monstrous child of the island -- I don't know. I think far too much about Louis, but when I do, I think of him as Caliban. So I like this story title because of that.

9. Boxing Clever, SV Lex/Victoria, I just think it's a cool phrase, and a very Victoria one. From the Placebo song "Pure Morning". (Which I almost typed as thong, HI FREUD)

10. A Warlike Prince, SV, Lex/Clark, It just suits him. He is a warlike prince. Plus? Stone cold bitch to title. And to write. So I get some self-congratulatory satisfaction going on whenever I think of this ending up with a somewhat decent title.

So, how do you guys title? Do you go into a story thinking "I will call this fic X, and then shape the fic to fit X." or do you do what I do, which is write a fic, and then ask your beta things like "Can't I just call it 'And then they got it on'? Please?"

Oh God. Paper now. Really. Really really. I swear.
 
 
Current Mood: guiltyguilty
Current Music: Piano Man-Billy Joel
 
 
 
Damned Colonialdamned_colonial on April 28th, 2005 07:15 am (UTC)
Gah, titles. When I'm stuck, I head straight for my quotations dictionaries and feed in any words related to the story until I get an idea. That's how I titled my flashfic today, by searching for "shower" and "plumbing" and "bath" til I found the Sylvia Plath quote and then went "ok, water cure, that'll do."

And a big "YES" on the "Waste Our Lights In Vain" write-up. I love reading DVD commentaries and people talking about how they write, especially when the story was difficult.
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Damned Colonialdamned_colonial on April 28th, 2005 08:03 am (UTC)
SL also went by the working title of "Men in Breeches".

"Major MacPherson's Ass" was a clap of thunder title. I think it's a great title, and Marna can bite me.

"Thus Friends Absent Speak" was my quotation-searching thingy turning up Donne.

"Nature and Degree" was from grovelling through the Articles of War looking for suitable phrases, much as someone else mentioned she'd gone through the RCMP procedures manual. The Articles are handy for that.

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Adoable Frunk: kowalski and fraserlyra_sena on April 28th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
I loved that quote! Also, the fic! I love cranky Ray and ever patient Fraser! I hope you write more dS.

*lyra hijacks nifra's lj to leave feedback*

Damned Colonial: oldprint - every waydamned_colonial on April 28th, 2005 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

*hijacks nif's LJ just on general principles*
Sage: create (logo of austin children's museumsageness on April 28th, 2005 07:39 am (UTC)
*pets you* *kicks paper*

Titles happen. Some are better than others. Some are fully formed, sometimes I have only a word in my head and then have to sift through Bartleby until I find the other half of my half-formed thought. Sometimes if a fic requires a lot of research, I'll find the title in the midst of the research. "Search Without Warrant" actually came from the RCMP Procedure manual for executing search warrants. And OMG is that ever your fault!! Due South is ALL YOUR FAULT!! And now I've written *two* fics! You have corrupted me! *wails* Okay, not really. Truth is, I'm totally loving it. *twirls*

Also, "Waste Our Lights in Vain" is one of your best ever. And I mean both the fic AND the title. Really excellent and so evocative and I'm going to feed the baby marmoset M&M's until you post a DVD track. *feeds*

We need teleporters: I'd send you a salad with a salmon filet and a side of broccoli with lemon butter from Whole Foods.


Also, write your damn paper!

*snugs you*
teaphile on April 28th, 2005 07:47 am (UTC)
I hate titling. A phrase will pop into my head and I'll say, "Oh my god, that's such a good title," but then I'll realize that someone's already used it, which is why I think it's a good title.

When it comes to titles I am hopelessly pedestrian.
misspamela: bobbyhobbes- lynnmisspamela on April 28th, 2005 10:43 am (UTC)
Yuck, titles. I hate titles. I never mind passing title-duty off on my betas, if they're willing. In fact, two of my best titles came from people who hadn't even read the story. ("Pro Patria Mori" from Dira and "Once More, with Feeling from Elynross) Usually I write the story, think of a one-word description of the story and just run with that.
Tiny Timmy Tokyo: undeviating exactitudeslodwick on April 28th, 2005 11:33 am (UTC)
I usually title from songs that I listen to while I'm writing, or, more often, when I'm inspired for a fic. And I always have a title before I finish, usually before I really get started. Sometimes it changes, but usually it doesn't.
Rachel Wilderrachel_wilder on April 28th, 2005 01:41 pm (UTC)
This is my method, too, most of the times. Unless I'm working on a virtual season and want to be naughty...but we would never do that, would we ;-)
BUT HARRY STYLES: BUNNY by something_goneestrella30 on April 28th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC)
Oh god. Titling SUCKS.

It's very rare that I'll have a title for something in my head as I'm writing a story. More of then than not, if I *do* have a good title, I'll just stick it anywhere and hope it fits *g* (The Other Side of Snow was one of those. When At Last Our Nights Are Lonely. etc.)

*snugs you*

(also - ps? OMFG DOM AND BRIAN LOVE SQUEE GUH FLAIL!!)
peeps wanna see peeps boink: writingmusesfool on April 28th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
I often write the fic just to use a title. I have three I'm working on right now that are all borne of my need to use the phrases as titles, or the phrases (lyrics, usually) inspired the story.

It's when the story doesn't show up with a title at the outset, or when the story changes and the original title no longe fits, that I freak out. But Bartleby.com is my friend and I can usually plug in a key word or two and get some quote back that fits.
Basingstokebasingstoke on April 28th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I start out with a title--like, I really really REALLY wanted to use "Year of the Scavenger" for Gattaca and so I built the story around that. I also really really want to use "Stairway Cruel" sometime, and I'll do the same thing.

Other times, if I'm lucky, the perfect title will come to me halfway through, like "Their Faces Resemble His"--a fucking creepy title for a fucking creepy story. (It's from an Einstuerzende Neubauten song, "Haus der Luege." The full lyric is roughly "Top floor: Has some damage / In the rafters an old man sits / Dead angels are strewn across the floor / Their faces resemble his."

The rest of the time, I get to the end of the story and flail.
Adoable Frunk: ophelialyra_sena on April 28th, 2005 02:04 pm (UTC)
Even while secretly giggling when you whine and picking you up from your fetal position on the floor, I do think that most of your titles are really spectacular. I'm sort of glad you've never gone with "And Then They Got It On", though one day, somehow, you should title something that just for giggles.

I've always really liked Arise You Sleeper (I Am Your Dream) and Come Unto These Yellow Sands. And of course, Waste Our Lights in Vain, which I will definitely be borrowing Vic's pokey stick to get you to write the DVD commentary for.
Adoable Frunk: kant tipelyra_sena on April 28th, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC)
Wow. Look at that last sentence. I should be shamed to be your beta. Preposition at the end! Dangling modifier or something! What a wreck. I need coffee.
Damned Colonial: oldprint - heart of oakdamned_colonial on April 28th, 2005 10:49 pm (UTC)
"Come Unto These Yellow Sands" was YOU!!!!1

I read that and loved it then lost it. And then found you via DS. And now I know who wrote it! Eeee!
shayheyred: CKRhandsshayheyred on April 28th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
I actually quite often do think of a phrase and then write a story for it. My most blatant example of this is Objects in the Rearview Mirror, I thought of while literally riding in the car and reading the rearview mirror. Duh, thought I, what an interesting name for a story.
Often, though, I prefer to stamp a story with one word, and often it works really simply, as in Smudge, Licked and Loss, my first three DS slash stories. Each story is easily identified by that one word. However, I suffered agonies of the damned thinking up a title for Phoenix, my Man From UNCLE epic, and it's still my least favorite title (though it's my favorite story) because the title is such a cliche.




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Hammyangryhamster on April 28th, 2005 10:58 pm (UTC)
titling fics is the bane of writing for me. i have two methods: either i get a really cool idea for a title/story fit, which usually works out very well, or i finish the story and can't come up with one, and usually end up with something stupid and cliched and boring. i really, really hate trying to come up with good titles. sometimes, i just scan through episode lists from other fandoms i'm in and steal from there.
dracschickdracschick on April 30th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
Usually, the title is......
not the first thing I think of. Sometimes I don't even have a working title. However, usually I do a 'rough sketch' of the entire story before I go and write it. By then, though, I have my title.
dodyskin on May 1st, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
Basically I use the Really Really Lame Puns approach. It's some sort of bizarre attempt to deflect attention from the total emo content of the fics.