How do you choose a title for your ebooks? Do you write your story first with the title in mind? Or do you write the story and decide on a title afterwards? I tend to write the story first and decide on a title later. If I focused on the title first, I may lose the flow of the story and get way off topic. After writing the story, I then ask myself, “What is the overall point of this story?” Once I identify the main point, I look for words in the story that would reflect the content.
For instance, when I wrote Trouble Down South and Other Stories, I wrote each individual short story with the purpose of submitting to online magazines. I didn’t write the stories with any theme in mind. I just had a bunch of story ideas in my head that I wanted to explore, and I put them all down on paper. After sorting through the fifteen or more stories, I realized there was a common thread that ran through them. They all dealt with some historical event or time period. They were set in the South. And they addressed issues that affected African Americans. Once I identified a theme that ran though all of the stories, I decided to compile them into a collection of short stories.
However, I needed to come up with a title for the collection. That wasn’t an easy task. I wanted the title to be catchy. I also wanted the title to reflect the content of the collection. When I asked myself, “What is the common thread that runs through these stories?”, one word came to mind–“Trouble.” In each story, some type of trouble befell the characters–some troubles far worse than others, but trouble no less. Since the stories were set in the South, the title Trouble Down South and Other Stories was born.
For my short story omnibus of historical fiction, Mo’ Trouble Down South, coming up with a title was not hard at all. I knew I wanted to piggyback off Trouble Down South and Other Stories since the stories were historical fiction and also set in the South. I chose to use “Mo'” rather than “More” in the title since that is a southern colloquial term used in the South. Again, I wanted the title to be catchy and memorable.
Many thanks, Katrina Parker Williams