The Rime of the Postmodern Mariner

More ramblings of Rhys Hughes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Brief List of Titles for Unwritten Stories

Without wishing to strut and preen, I am often praised for my unusual titles. The method I most commonly use is to keep lists of potential titles and wait until I have an idea that fits a particular title. Then I'll write the story. I dislike writing a story if I don't have a title for it. I find that the prose doesn't flow so smoothly...

Often the titles themselves generate the story itself, in the same way that a gene may control the growth of an organism. So the more offbeat the title, the more original the resultant story! Titles will often jump into my head from nowhere. A phrase such as 'The Canapés of Wrath' is obviously a twisting of the Steinbeck title; other phrases, such as 'The Realisation of Vast Headgear', are more mysterious in origin. Why should such a sequence of words appear in my mind? There's no obvious reason. It's a mystery!

Anyway, I note down these titles and slowly work my way through them. The list keeps changing as I add new titles and turn others into stories. Some titles wait on the list for a short time; others wait years or even decades. What follows is a short extract from my list. I hope eventually to turn all of these titles into stories.

* As I Walked Out One Midsummer Night's Dream
* Noah the Second
* The Senile Pagodas
* Wheel of Beasts
* Vile Bodhisattva
* Poppadam and Circumstance
* Apple Ubu
* Shelling the Toad
* The Singing Sands Have Lost Their Voice
* The Swedish Pharaoh
* Djinn Septic
* Occam's Beard
* Ghoulysses
* Monkey Knows a Thing
* The Extra-Haunted Dolls' House
* Abaddon in Abydos
* Pepper on the Ginger Star
* An Awfully Bubonic Adventure
* My Rabbit's Shadow Looks Like a Hand
* Wuthering Depths
* The Once and Future Peasant
* The Aching Soul of Solomon the Cobbler
* Sigma Octantis
* Doom it Heavenwards
* Dribble as I Dawdle
* Confessions of a Medicated Lurker
* This Werewolf Prefers Muesli
* The Nine Billion Names of Tinker Bell
* The Infringing Lanterns
* Ondes Martenot on my Pillow
* Dynamiting the Honeybun
* The Baker Street Cimmerian
* Tropic of Nonsense
* The Fruit Pastille City
* The Dream Chapati of Tarquin Platt
* The String Theory of Women
* The Great Me
* Bedsteads Across Iberia
* Hannah and her Cisterns
* Sadie Loverlei’s Chatter
* Nat King Cole Abhors a Vacuum
* The Unvoiced Complaints of Kika Puffus
* Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Minor Disturbance
* Whoops a Buttercup
* Gin and Chthonic
* The Original Copycats
* The Cheesy Smile of Bethany Kraker
* Pell Mell in Pall Mall
* The Utterly Conventional Abode on the Perfectly Normal Hill
* Clumsy Carnacki – the Ghost Loser
* Daftness and Chlorine
* The Cat that Chilled the Scene
* Abridged Too Far
* Genghis Kan't
* The Biscuit Viziers of the Tongue Sultan
* Owl Scared of the Dark
* Caterpillar the Hun
* The Further Fangs of Suet Pudding
* My Bearable Smugness
* The Realisation of Vast Headgear
* Moonmoths, Umbrellas and Oranges
* Hepcats are from Neptune, Bum Notes are from Uranus
* Jesus the Creep
* When the Tide Comes In, Belinda Puts Out
* The Heat Death of Mr Universe
* The Elephantine Doggerel of Mouserian Catullus
* Knights that Go Bump into Things


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