Now that I’m submitting excerpts to contests and scholarships…poor Granny needs a makeover.
I never intended for “The Chosen Grandma” to be, like, the real name of the story. Obviously. Too on-the-nose. Not to mention technically wrong, since Edna does not, in fact, have grandchildren.
I figured I’d get there eventually, a real title, I mean, but I meant to wait several drafts. First drafts don’t need good titles. You can get away with “Placeholder,” “First Draft,” “Title Goes Here,” junk like that, compared to which, “The Chosen Grandma” is not good, but at least it tells you something about the story.
Then I submitted to Grindstone Literary’s Novel Start Competition and: why, yes, my entry’s title was “Chapter One.”
I’ve always sucked at titles. They’re my kryptonite.
(Along with, you know, antagonists and description and plot and pacing and wow I suck, don’t I?)
With poetry it’s kind of okay, because once you’re done you can just kind of find a line that really resonates and make that the title. Which, okay, you can technically also do with a novel. But it’s a lot harder, since that one line has to symbolize or sum up the entire novel, which is presumably a lot longer than that poem you wrote.
Luckily, one of my friends shared a good article on titling with me. So there’s that. And then some of my other friends had some other suggestions. One of them mentioned long titles à la The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Which kind of makes titling a little easier, honestly, and also seems like a hallmark the whimsical-and-humorous-but-still-a-bit-serious fantasy subgenre that the Chosen Grandma story fits into.
(Can we find a name for that genre? Or perhaps we don’t have one because those of us who write it all just suck at naming things.)
So I like that idea, the long title. And then The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher was suggested, which I quite like the sound of. I have been trying to come up with a title like that. “The Something Something of Edna Fisher.”
Only I suck at titling, so I’ve been unsuccessful.
At any rate, while I need a new title at some point, The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher will do for now. You know I’m just gonna keep saying “The Chosen Grandma” in casual conversation anyway.
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