By Betsy Love
I’ve been thinking much lately about writing and the fun we as authors have in creating. We conjure up places, some real, some imaginary, for our characters. These people we give birth to, not in the sense we think of children, but ones from our mind's eye live and breathe, and think and conduct their lives, sometimes in ways more real to us than people we know in our waking worlds.
When one of my characters seems to hide from me, or a story won’t come and I’m stuck in the middle of a dilemma with my heroine hanging from a cliff by her fingernails, not knowing if she’s going to fall onto a branch below, or be rescued by her love interest, I have often turned to a book called The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood.
Let me tell you a little about this unique little gem I found a number of years ago. It has no page numbers. There are no chapters, no sections, and sometimes one thing that struck you as amazing, you can never find again. One day I found a little blub, and had to do a lot of searching before I relocated. It goes like this, “When stuck or bored with your work, try making up titles.”
It has become a hobby of mine to create story or poem titles. Here are a few of my favorites. And yes, I have a few story ideas based on them. But titles are not copyrighted and you may steal them and use them as you wish.
Morning, Gloria. Night, Violet.
Phantom of the Hoppera
Donuts for my Dear Dead Sister
If I Give You a Kiss made from Yankee Dimes
Below the Bridges
The Glass Cottage
Don’t Look in There
If You Think it Looks Good Now
Bip Bop Boop
Liver and Onions, Hold the Liver
The Crazies Live Next Door
I Have Grandma’s Hankie
Daisy and Nightsy
Lumps are for Oatmeal
You get the gist. Then once you’ve created your own list, what kind of characters would you create to go with each title. For instance: in the first title, “Morning Gloria. Night Violet,” I picture two teenage girls who are best friends, but are opposites in almost every way. Why are they friends? What is it about them that makes them like each other? I now have the beginnings of a story.
Create your own story title list. See where it takes your imagination. You never know who’s lurking in the recesses of your mind. Ooh, there’s another story title, “The Recess Lurkers.”