I admit it, I do. I suck at naming things.*

For example, when it came to naming children, I was allowed to come up with boy names, with Sally getting a veto option, and she would get to name the girls, with me having a veto option. When it came to naming my firstborn, I went with what I knew. I named him Maurice Gerald Broaddus the Second (whom we’d call “Reese” as not to confuse the two of us). It worked for a couple of reasons: I got to retroactively declare myself “Maurice the Great” and I got to declare my son the beginning of my dynasty. When son number two came along, my original plan was to name him Maurice Gerald Broaddus the Third. My reasoning, follow me on this, was that in case something happened to Reese, I’d still have someone to carry on the dynasty. And we could call him “Tre”. Solid, solid reasoning on my behalf … vetoed by the wife.**

It’s rare that I start with a good title. “Pimp My Airship” might have been the last time I was perfectly happy with a title and even then I had the title before I had the story. In the end, I don’t know if the tone of the story matched the title, but I kept it anyway.

Most times I have working titles, a place holder while I come up with something that will work. To pull back the curtain on my creative process, I have a story which sold (which I’ll announce later) that had the working title “Virtual Babies.” Shock of all shocks, it’s about virtual babies. Eventually the title became “A Stone Cast into Stillness”, but my editor has been beating me to death with my working title. Just a subtle reminder that I don’t crap gold. *** Which means it’s probably a good idea that I never let my Angry Robot editors know that my original working title for King Maker wasn’t “The Knights of Breton Court” but “Black Camelot” (hey! I was watching “Black Caesar” at the time. DON’T YOU JUDGE ME!!!).

This originally was meant to be a random tweet. But I couldn’t figure out a way to reduce my rant to 140 characters. That’s why God created blogs.

*This is an entirely different conversation than the one about Pen Names. Though it ends the same: me making the mistake of sharing said name with a “friend” and that friend then beating me to death with it.

**Instead, we end up naming him Malcolm Xavier, after one of my heroes, Malcolm X. Sally wanted the “X” to stand for something, and I could live with the allusion to Professor X of the X-Men. This was also before my Malcolm X came out blonde and blue-eyed.

***In fact, our running IM discussion while I was writing this blog went like this:

Me: I’m two paragraphs into my latest blog and haven’t had a WHIFF of a point yet.
HatedEditorWhichShallRemainNameless: sounds like your short story first drafts. ZING!!!

Cause he’s got jokes.