shivver13 (shivver13) wrote,

Fanfic Writing Meme #17

Lazy Sunday. This morning, I was working on my fic for who_contest when the lights flickered and there was a huge BOOM, just out of the blue! You can probably already tell that this was lightning and thunder, but that boom was so loud and long, I thought maybe a plane had crashed nearby (I live near an airport). Judging from the delay between the flicker and the thunder, the strike must have been no more than a mile away.

I'm trying to devote myself to posting the rest of my backlog fics, once per day, so sorry about the spam on the feed.

17. Titles – Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?

Titles don't bother me much. They usually write themselves while I'm writing the fic, or they jump out at me while I'm re-reading. My titles tend to be very straightforward, like "The Message" or "Calling the Doctor"; I'm jealous of people who can come up with gorgeous symbolic titles.

For some reason, I don't worry too much about titles. I do slightly regret the title of Mistaken Identity, because I just kind of came up with the phrase in a second and didn't bother to think any more about it.

The one that was difficult for me was The Actor. I thought about it for a couple of days and couldn't come up with anything, then asked my husband for suggestions on one of our nightly walks. We discussed it for a while, and somehow came up with that title. The interesting thing is how it affected the work itself. Of course, the title fit because the main character is an actor, but it also worked well because the twist at the end (not revealing spoilers here) pointed at another character who is the actual actor in the story. Then, with a title like that, I realized I could work the acting and storytelling theme a little harder, and I added bits to the story to bring that out.

When I write chaptered fic, I usually have a title for each chapter, mostly because it makes it easier for me to find what I want to work on when I come back to the huge Google doc. I once printed out an early draft of The Actor and it was 85 pages. (Jeez! I actually wrote 85 pages! That was a task, and that was just 85 pages! How does Brandon Sanderson do it?) It's really difficult to find the paragraph you want to work on, among 85 pages of dense words, if you don't have chapter titles. However, I don't publish my works with those titles. Part of it is that the chapter titles I use are often simply descriptive (e.g. "Nott and Avery", "Ending") or jokes, and they don't work for general consumption. (The encounter between the Doctor and Voldemort in Mistaken Identity was titled "The Dark Lord vs. the Dark Lord", referring to Dalek Caan calling the Doctor "the Dark Lord". However, since only Davros heard it, it isn't a known title for the Doctor, so it was just an in-joke.) The other thing is that I don't like revealing what's coming up in any way; I much prefer letting the reader find things out through the story, not the titles. So, no chapter titles.

Meme Master Post

Tags: writing

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