So, I’m wrapping up a new chapbook this week. The collection of ten stories, about half of them flash fiction or very short stories, deal with characters isolated from lovers or from themselves; some of them seek companionship in violence or in dead bodies, others lock themselves away until forced out into the light of day. There are stories about characters who can fly, characters who want to eat people, characters who manifest human beings from thin air, and characters who want to bring Santa Claus back to life even if it means killing a man. Some of the stories are fairly uplifting; most of them choose to explore our more desperate selves.
Nine of the ten stories are as polished as they can get, and the last needs only a bit of tweaking. I have the order down, I have the document compiled, and I already know where I want to send it.
All I need now is a title.
And titles, for me, are the hardest part.
I put the call out on Facebook a few days ago, but the titles I suggested then got more or less nixed, including by my friend and writing partner Ryan Werner and by author Debra Monroe. Still, at least one of my initial suggestions had a few supporters, and in the comments, some friends suggested a few new ideas. Also, Debra Monroe told me to go back to a classic technique and dig up strong strand-alone lines from the stories that could become titles.
So, below is a long, long list of possible titles. It includes my original ideas, some of the new suggestions, a few titles from the stories in the collection, and a slew of lines from the text as per Debra Monroe’s advice.
Please vote for the title you like best! Can’t decide on just one? No worries — you can vote as many times as you want. Not seeing a title you like? Suggest a better one, either in the blank on the poll or in the comments!