Titles Suggest Stories

by David Paul

Sometimes I know what the name of my story will be before I know what the story is about. If you have what you think is a brilliant title, then it can suggest a worthy story.

My wife was born twelve years after her older sibling, and her old country Italian mother was embarrassed about it. Her mother had four older children and in her environment at that time, it was considered a humiliation to be pregnant in one's late forties. My wife's mother would justify her new child by telling people, "She will be a cane for my old age."

I could not forget that phrase "A Cane For My Old Age" but it was not until ten years later that it became the title for one of my best short stories. The story, ironically, evolved from an unpleasant incident involving my mother-in-law when she came to live with us in "her old age" and my wife truly did become her cane.

So, when you hear a catchy phrase, consider the story potential that just a few words can provide.

Comments for Titles Suggest Stories

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Jul 01, 2010
good title
by: Sandra

I've gotten several stories, and their titles, from song titles or lyrics.

I can see why that phrase stuck with you, especially when it actually ended up happening.

Jun 29, 2010
by: Anonymous

Nicely put, and "A Cane for My Old Age" is a fantastic title.

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