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Some writers write without titles. Titles seem something you slap on your manuscript after the fact. As you have guessed (by the title of this post) I don’t work that way.

Well, usually….

But not this time.

My current WIP is going well, as in, I’m writing it, but it doesn’t have a tittle. I really don’t know what exactly this WIP is. Among the possibilities are:

  • A novel. A single manuscript from beginning to end.
  • A short story. It begins and ends as one.
  • A short story collection/serial.
  • A (gasp) book trilogy.
  • The seed of a NaNo.

Whatever it is (or will be) it has not title.

OK, I have a title, of sorts.

Age of Iron

An alternate history/fantasy “work” based on the European Dark Ages (500 CE-1000 CE).

But…it sounds so generic, so much of a ripoff. Yes, I know, you can’t copyright titles, but still, doesn’t feel right.

I done the research.

I’m working on the world building.

I have a good idea of the general plot points.

It feels like a gone diving without checking how much air is in my tanks. I’m all for discovery writing but I need a clear starting point just in case I get lost. That navigational point that allows me to navigate the unknown waters of imagination. A beacon in the dark night of creation. Up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle.

So, what am I to do?

And because you actually read through an entire post full of wangst here is a video to make all better:


    • matthewgraybosch
    • Posted August 4, 2009 at 12:37 am
    • Permalink

    I don’t see why you can’t use Age of Iron as a “working” title. Use it for now, until you get the first draft done. If you think it still fits once you have a first draft, keep it. If not, come up with something better.

    Back in the day, I used to vacillate between calling my work-in-progress Starbreaker or Voices from the Past. While I remained indecisive, I kept scrapping the story and starting over after reaching a certain point in the plot. It wasn’t until I settled on Starbreaker as my title (at least for the first draft) that I was able to progress, but once I had that working title, I was able to put everything else into place and finish a first draft this past May.

    Good luck.

  1. Hm. I write with a title, but it changes approximately a billion times during the write up. Plus I write down surplus options. Is your title sticking with you well? No need to over-stress if it is, I think 🙂

    Oh, could you post fun Dark Ages tidbits from time to time to nurture curious minds? 🙂 🙂 Of course, euclidean tidbits are best. *nods sagely* ;-p

  2. I work under a “Working title” and then choose something appropriate for the final finish. Uninvoked is actually an example of a working title of mine, it just happened to stick and I couldn’t think of anything better. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Just stick with what you’ve got and make something new at the end. ^^

  3. Well, I’ll go with Age of Iron as a working title, for now. Of course I may change it in the future. Thing is that having a good title of the bat has always been my modus operandi when it comes to writing, a safety net of sorts. I’m moving into new territory now.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.

  4. My titles tend to change as I go along with a manuscript. Somehow I just *know* when I’ve hit the correct one.

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