Pitchforks, Daggers, and Ninjas in Pigtails: What Happens When a Helpful Writers Group Starts Naming Things
It all began with a dagger that simply would not go away… The pigtails are another matter entirely.
I thought I would take the time to look into a sort of oddity about my writing career. Actually, it’s more of an oddity about me in general. No, let me try one more time. It is an oddity about the people around me. I have nothing to do with it. Really.
I have already mentioned the difficulties that I have had in the past with naming my stories. Theories as to my difficulty with titles have been suggested, everything from deep seated commitment issues, to a chronically indecisive personality, to the tragic demise of whatever muse of mine was responsible for coming up with the pesky little detail of What Goes On The Cover of Your Book?
Whatever the case may be, my stories tend to simply rely on the main character’s name for a temporary title, and a real title never appears. Mikaela, Danni, Stealth, Cupcake, and Prince Alphaeus can all testify to this. I think their names make perfectly satisfactory titles.
My peers, however, disagree. So, being a helpful bunch, they come up with titles for me. An earlier story about a group of young royals essentially taking over the world became known as The Dagger of Bane Story. The Dagger of Bane played a very minor role. My main character spent the better part of his journey dropping it in the ocean, losing it, having it confiscated when he was captured, and yet the priceless heirloom of his kingdom (which looked like nothing so much as a drunk blacksmith’s apprentice’s first attempt at a butter knife) kept showing up. I tried to name the story, but no one remembers that name now. It is The Dagger of Bane Story.
Likewise, Mikaela’s story, which I called, to what I’m sure is your complete surprise, Mikaela, started out with a charming tale of Mikaela’s escape from a horde of angry villagers armed with pitchforks. The pitchforks were etched rather firmly in her memory and appeared in her dreams (in more ways than one) quite often. So, you can imagine what title my enterprising listeners came up with for Mikaela. Yes, it is called The Pitchfork Story.
It occurs to me as I recollect how helpful my friends have been in renaming my stories, that they seem to also want to rename me. My parents gave me a perfectly acceptable name. However, due to unforeseen circumstances involving pigtails, I was renamed and rerenamed and rererenamed until they settled upon the moniker Ninja Bunny.
Why bunnies? Why, indeed? Bunnies can be quite terrifying, as you might know from my earlier post on Bella, the silently sadistic, angsty ball of fluff whose psychotic, mass-murdering rampage is hindered only by a lack of opposable thumbs; or from reruns of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You may have read the tales of Bunnicula (carrots today, the world tomorrow!) However, I doubt that any of these associations are to blame for the unfortunate nickname that I can’t seem to escape (it was even inscribed on a cake).
Suffice to say that it does not seem to matter whether or not I already have a name for my stories, or myself for that matter. I can always rely on a helpful group of editors to supply a “better” name that will, despite my best efforts, stalk me and my stories like a homicidal bunny.