What comes first? The title or the first chapter?
My husband is a title fanatic. Before he’s put pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard, he’s got it, and it doesn’t change. As part of my toxin-free fresh start for 2011, I’m pouncing on a new project and the title is the last thing on my mind. First, I need to know the characters inside out, then the setting, then the two or three ideas that will make it into a story. I’ll spend a long time gathering information on the main subject, talking to people who might have gone through a similar experience, and then I’ll write a synopsis and a few chapters to see how it feels. After that, maybe, a title will spring to mind. But if it does, it will probably change four times before I’ve finished the first draft, and will definitely change once the publisher gets hold of it. Not sure what the norm is… when did Donna Moore come up with “Old Dogs“? Karen Campbell with “After the Fire“, Chris Ewan with “The Good Thief’s Guide to…” , Steve Mosby with Black Flowers? When do most writers come up with the perfect title?