Thursday, November 8, 2007

No Longer the La Llarona Story

It's been interesting to see people's responses to my question on titles. For some, titles are everything, for others titles are one of the last things that come into the writing equation.

Like I mentioned, titles are a clarifying tool for me. It's like adjusting the magnification on a microscope. You're always looking at the same thing, it's just the knobs that you adjust, but all of a sudden that slide you're looking at is clear instead of fuzzy and you finally know exactly what you're looking at.

Yesterday I spent some time asking myself questions about the La Llarona story and what it was really about, what was I really getting at, who was truly my focal figure, and what exactly was I trying to say about them? At the end of these questions, I had a title: When Ben Bucater Met His First Ghost. It's not a perfect title, and I may change the wording a bit, but it's there. It says what I want it to and now I have the right magnifying lense to use when I look the story over again and do some revising.

It's a small thing for some, but a big "click" moment for me. It even makes that sound in my head, a metallic sound like the sound of switching lenses on a microscope (thus the analogy, see?).


The One and Only John said...

I think it's a good title, but only if the most significant part of the story isn't given away with the title. Case in point, I have a story that I like to tell that is more or less titled "The Time I got Hit by a Bike."

So, hopefully something more significant happens to Ben Bucater than just meeting a ghost.

Debbie said...

I like it. Especially since I suspect that meeting the ghost is the catalyst for the story, not the story itself. And the way you've worded it could mean that Ben makes it through the story to meet other ghosts. Could mean that his first ghost is also his last.