I suck at titles. Once in a while, titles leap fully-formed from my head with accompanying stories (Out of Shape and Second Sight being two) but mostly, coming up with a title is a hard slog. You can see my lack in the entitling department in my lackluster novel names: The Changeling (boring), Season of Rains (too subtle), Quartz (working title) and Kai’s book (I’m not even trying here).
It’s tempting for me to dismiss titling my fiction as a hoop that I have to jump through on my road to publication, akin to putting my story into Standard Manuscript Format. (Why can’t we just name stories like we do piano sonatas? Then we could have stories like Teenage Vampire in Angst Major). On the other hand, some might argue that a good title is an integral part of the story, one that completes it and adds that final polishing touch. Others might say that it is a marketing gimmick, hooks designed to lure the reader in, to sink into the reader’s brain.
How does titling your work fit into your creative process? How important is the title to your story as a whole? Does your story feel incomplete unless you have titled it?