Sunday, April 17, 2011

What's in a name?

It took some serious doing, but I think that I have finally hit upon the perfect title for my short story collection. And as all you wonderful typospherians have doubtlessly been on pins and needles as to my choice, I will allay your agonizing curiosity. Wait for it...

Pen and Platen: Short Stories Written the Long Way

I know, right? I couldn't be happier. Let me know what you think, however. I value feedback.

In other news, the preliminary story list has been hashed out, and appears here in tentative order:

1. To Kill a Comedian
2. The Ballad of Silas Starkweather -or- Justice Done Right
3. Inferno Redux
4. Papa and the U-boat
5. To Set a Quiver
6. In Media Res
7. Agony Column
8. Loading Dock, 2 am

There may be a couple others, but so far I think that I have achieved here the optimum mix of humor, fear, and intensity, all while keeping an eye on length and cadence. The trick is getting it all in the right order. I have also kicked around including segments from my two novels, just as teasers, but it remains to be seen whether or not that will gel with the animus of the collection proper.

Stay tuned for more updates!

6 comments:

rad-tastic said...

Zing! You totally hit it in the head Speegle!

Personally, I hate teasers of things, because it seems like advertising, but that's just me. :)

Richard P said...

Love the title -- and the subtitle.

mpclemens said...

Excellent, all of them. I hope it's dedicated to graduate writing programs everywhere... the bastards.

Mike Speegle said...

I'm actually dedicating it to my brothers-in-arms in the tech department at work, who put up with my incessant notebook-scribbling during lunch breaks!

Strikethru said...

I realize this comment is way late, but here it is anyway!

Completely excellent title, but let me bring this up - the title suggests content that has been typed or written by hand, or is *about* typing or writing by hand. Now, I realize the stories were typed or written by hand, but is the title the only suggestion of this? Is there an introduction or other aspect of the content that ties this theme together? As a reader, I would be confused to see this title, and then open a book (or online file) of stuff printed with conventional fonts, or say, no introduction talking about the handwriting/typing craft. Does that make sense? This is just my professional editor side talking.

Mike Speegle said...

Strikethru: That's actually a pretty good question! I had this same discussion with a sibling just last week.

I actually intend to not only start the collection with an introduction describing my process, but also to have a brief intro to every story. I dunno...when authors do that, I have always enjoyed it. Sometimes having some background makes a story even more enjoyable!

It's true...the title may be a little vague, but — and here's my horrible secret — I'm not very good at titles.