Faculty News: Stephen Graham Jones On Finding The Right Title

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Stephen Graham Jones knows a thing or two about titles…he’s published something like 1000 books. In this essay about his novel The Least of My Scars, he breaks down just how he ended up with this particular title:

All my The Least of My Scars drafts and notes have, until a few months ago, been in a directory called “doors.” All the early drafts are that: “doors,” “doors2,” “doors21,” “doors21b,” and on and on, a whole stack of versions and tries and misfires. My original idea was to build every chapter on a knock-knock joke somehow. And calling the novel “Doors” was supposed to play into that. We’re talking eight weeks in 2008, I think it was. I’d just written a draft of The Gospel of Z, which failed and failed hard, and was pretty sure I’d just been fooling myself I was a writer.

Some of the other titles that tried to happen:

  • This House of Rest
  • The Wrong End of the Night (is this a Springsteen lyric?)
  • The Girl with the Unbreakable Heart
  • Dashboard Mary (I thought this was a song. Is it?)
  • Hell is Full of People
  • These Cheshire Arms
  • Here Come the Jesters (flying my BadCo flag)
  • Every Little Crack
  • Pale Young Four Toes
By | 2017-05-18T16:48:18-07:00 April 25th, 2014|Categories: Faculty News|Comments Off on Faculty News: Stephen Graham Jones On Finding The Right Title

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