I hate it when people don't title their work. Honestly, this could be one of my biggest pet peeves.
I've been reading the last batch of fiction pieces (written by my peers) for the last two critique sessions before we start over with new stories and give this process another whirl.
(by the way, this entry really doesn't have much to do with my "untitled comment, I just thought that it would make an ironic title)
I went to find the six stories to read and critique among my things I had brought home for Spring Break. My room is a mess right now, all the formal dresses which I decided (at length) that I would not wear at school, my 21st birthday party (sans alcohol) party noisemakers and bunches of textbooks from my Literary London trip mingle with the clothes that I actually brought to wear for this week. Clearly, I have hardly gotten out of my cozy pants and college sweatshirt since I got here.
Home sweet home.
It was when I was searching for the sixth manuscript that I realized that I wouldn't find it. The sixth manuscript was written by me, and I wouldn't be critiquing it.
It's a lovely story, one that I am proud of. It's about a girl named Susanne and a woman named Glenda. They both love/have loved pianists, and the piano which brings them together. It's funny, plaintive, ironic.
I know that I'm going to want to cover Susanne's little ears when the critique happens next Wednesday (a week from today, really?) I love Susanne, I love that she is broke and getting married and wants to give her fiance a piano for a wedding present. She wears pink cardigans and finds luxury in sunsets and is sensitive to the feelings of those around her. By the end, she has a daughter named Emily.
I'm going to have to let her listen to the confusion and criticism. I'm going to have to sit her down afterwards and tell her that it's my fault. Tell her that I'm sorry, and that I will fix it. She'll ask me, as my characters often do, if I can't just leave it, if I can't just leave some things to the imagination of the reader, after all, WE know what you meant!
I could do that.
I could let Susanne stay the way she is. There are two stories to be written in this class. They are not graded, but half of our grade comes in when we revise one of the stories rigorously. I could simply revise the other one and leave Susanne as she is now.
Susanne though, is a brave girl. She has gumption. She is fun to be around. I want to keep hanging out with her. I'm afraid that no matter how I revise my other story, I will still want to revise this one.
Think of me, as I walk into that classroom next Wednesday. I will sit down and prepare to take notes. I will squeeze Susanne's hand and listen to my fellow classmates talk about us. We will stay silent (those are the rules).
In the end, we win.
I learn how to be a better writer, Susanne's story gets to be told better.
I guess I wish that people would put working titles on their work. It isn't that I don't realize how hard it is to come up with a title. I agonize. But we need something.
I was thinking about this in regards to humans.
God has names for us, He is the only one who knows what they are. My name is Cara, but that name is a working name. It works on this earth, along with "hey you" "carebear" "pooky" (as I appear in my friend Emily's phone). In Heaven, however, I will get to hear my Lord say my REAL name, for the first time.