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(Meme) Fanfic Titles

21st January 2008 (21:25)
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So I don't normally do memes, but since this is one that beer_good_foamy  and I came up with ourselves, I thought I'd make an exception.

A good title can make or break a fanfic. List (at least) five recent fanfics you've written. For each one, explain how you came up with the title and what it means.

I've skipped the ones with really obvious or purely descriptive titles... which unfortunately is a lot of them, since coming up with good titles is never easy... But i've listed ten, not five, because I'm a rebel.

Everything Changes
This is taken from the title of episode one of Series One of Torchwood, which is appropriate as it's a Captain Jack!The Immortal/Buffy crossover drabble. And, you see, it's ironic because the one thing the Immortal can never do is change....

Legally Dead
My title choice was probably influenced by the film Legally Blonde, but more importantly by the character Hotblack Desiato from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who was 'spending a year dead for tax reasons.' In this fic, Kennedy decides to spend a month dead for mystical reasons. (Well, there's a little more to it that that...)

Stockton Gala Days
This is the title of a song by 10,000 Maniacs, and is a reference to the (real life) women's prison in Stockton, California that Faith gets sent to. She's attempting, with not much success, to get over her feelings for Buffy, and the lyrics of the song reflect that:
Blue in the stream, like none I have seen, 
apart from dreams that escape me. 
There was no girl as bold as you. [...] 
How I've learned to hide, how I've locked inside, 
you'd be surprised if shown. 
But you'll never, you'll never know.

Unstylish Yet High-Priced Boots
This is, of course, a reversal of Buffy's quote in Once More With Feeling about her "stylish yet affordable boots". Now in season 8 her boots are unstylish and utilitarian... and the price she's having to pay is not one that can be measured in dollars and cents.

But then again, too few to mention
Another song lyric title - this one, appropriately enough, from Spike's favourite song My Way. My hope was that readers would be familiar enough with the song to automatically fill in the preceding line: "Regrets, I've had a few," - this being a drabble, economy of words applies to the title too. :-) Incidentally, it was a discussion about my title for this fic that sparked the idea for the meme.

Netherlands to Nepal
A 'May to December' romance is when a young person and a very old person get together. A 'Netherlands to Nepal' romance is when a normal-sized person gets together with a 50-foot tall giant... (If you need more explanation: the Netherlands is one of the world's most low-lying countries, mostly below sea level. Nepal contains the world's highest mountains.)

That Kiss
That Other Kiss
For A Few Kisses More
The first story in my 'Kisses Trilogy' probably qualifies as one of the less inspired titles i've come up with - although it was written back when everybody was talking about Satsu giving Buffy the kiss of true love in 'The Long Way Home', so I assumed everyone would know which kiss I meant. But I made a casual reference in the fic to another time that Buffy had been kissed by a woman - without going into details - and BGF challenged me to write that story too. So 'That Other Kiss' just seemed, well, logical.

And then came 'Bring Back The Porn Day' , and I decided to try my hand at writing my first ever explicit sex fic as a sequel to 'That Other Kiss'. Which makes it a sequel to the prequel. (Don't think about that too hard...) This, naturally, would involve rather more than one kiss: hence 'For A Few Kisses More'. I did think about changing the titles of the first two stories to 'A Fistful of Kisses' and 'The Kiss, the Hug and the Grope' in honour of Clint Eastwood, but decided that would be too silly...

Product Placement
When big companies pay movie makers to show their products on screen as a form of surreptitious advertising, it's called product placement. When Pepsi Max decided - briefly - to sponsor LJ last year, I wrote this fic as a parody of where we might all end up if things were taken to their logical extreme. Of course, there's also a double entendre in the last paragraph concerning exactly where Willow and Tara (and Daniel Radcliffe too, although not concurrently) intended to place their bottle of Pepsi Max...

Hell's Heart
This is a quote from Melville's Moby Dick (yes, okay, and it's also a quote from Star Trek): "To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee." It shows Faith 's unyeilding determination to never surrender, and is also literal because she's fought her way up from the very heart of hell to seek justice from the people who sent her there (and also to stab at them with the pointy end of the Scythe...). 

If Ever Before Thou Didst Hear My Voice Afar
Another literary quote, this one from the poem by Sappho which Willow is writing on Tara's back in 'Restless'. Since the poem is an invocation of Aphrodite to cast a love spell on an unwilling victim, I speculated in this drabble that Willow and Sappho might have had more in common than the obvious: that they were both, in fact, powerful witches with boundary and control issues. :-) The title was intended to emphasise this parallel.

If anyone else wants to play with this meme, please do. I tag my entire flist. :-)


Posted by: idiotnighthawk (idiotnighthawk)
Posted at: 21st January 2008 22:51 (UTC)

Well, I named my first fanfic "Franchises" -- it's a pre-Season 8 Buffy/Xander fanfic about them going around the world together helping start the various Slayer teams, and in the process getting involved with each other. It was meant to invoke the theme of starting substitute families in "Fight Club".

I named another story "Protective Orders", which was basically a fic that tells the Scoobies side of the events of "Damage" -- the decision to send Andrew, why he went, what his mission was, why he told the lies he did, and what he said that was true. It just sounded good -- orders to protect Dana, orders to protect the Scoobies, orders to protect Buffy, emotionally, from the W&H thing.

"Run and Catch" is a challenge fic I wrote, a Drusilla/Sylar fic. The title is a play on both Dru's song that she sings and the idea of the two of them as predators.

"Back to Black" is a fic I wrote that's a crossover between "After the Fall" and Season 8. It brings Spike out of the hell dimension as a "flare", Angel and Wes trying to contact the Scoobies for help in freeing Los Angeles. It's a reference to the Amy Winehouse song of the same title, which (loosely) inspired the story.

I wrote a story called "The Debriefing", which was a scene of Xander, Willow, and Buffy after 8.04, talking about what happened, particularly for Willow. I just went for the literal, sort of highlighting on the juxtaposition of the very personal connection between the gang and their new, heirarchical setting.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd January 2008 19:16 (UTC)

a reference to the Amy Winehouse song of the same title

I think everyone has at least one title inspired by a song...

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 21st January 2008 22:57 (UTC)

And here's me, confessing with great shame that I hadn't caught the reference in "Hell's Heart" - I love Moby Dick and I've recited that speech more than once, I don't know why I didn't catch on in this case. Selective blindness of some sort, I guess.

I love the Hitchhiker shout-out, too.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd January 2008 19:18 (UTC)

Well, as I hinted above, to my own even greater shame I knew that quote from 'Wrath of Khan' not 'Moby Dick' - although I was aware of the original source and did look it up before naming the fic...

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 21st January 2008 23:33 (UTC)
[buffy] faith fire komiks

I already posted on my LJ. This is a cool idea (although I always feel self-conscious about this sort of thing - I'm big-headed enough as it is when it comes to my writing ;) )

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd January 2008 19:21 (UTC)

Personally I love reading authors' notes, commentaries and meta; finding out why someone chose to write something the way they did. I enjoy writing it too. :-)

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 23rd January 2008 10:01 (UTC)
[buffy] hold me

I'm pretty much ambiguous - on the one hand, I find them interesting when others write them, on the other, it seems a bit excessive when I do - I'm the author, am I not supposed to be dead and not to enforce my personal interpretation of my text on others?

But I enjoy writing about my writing, of course...

I guess it's all about balance ;)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 23rd January 2008 12:07 (UTC)

Even if you do write a commentary explaining what you meant in your story, I'm still free to ignore it and decide I know better than the author what she actually meant to say. :-)

But then again I work in marketing, so the idea that there's something intrinsically wrong in persuading people to enjoy what you've done is foreign to me...

(Incidentally, I just read a couple of the stories you linked to. They were good! A bit bleak and angsty for my taste, but that's not a refolection on the writing, and you defintely had the characters' voices down.)

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 23rd January 2008 14:17 (UTC)
[buffy] let it burn

Oh, thank you very much! I know I can go a bit angsty, apparently I don't believe in happy women ;-)

I appreciate the praise :)

::goes back to writing yet another angsty, AU!Wishverse story::

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