Q: Are titles easy or hard for you? Do you start with the title or the story?]
A: Story first, always. Usually when I begin to write a story, the title is just a descriptive tag to separate the story from all the other drafts. Titles are usually the last part I revise because they’re the first thing readers read and they color the rest of the story. For example, “Singot”, was nearly titled “Abai” instead. While singot appeared to be a useful solution to the character’s goals, the frightening but necessary abai powers the story forward. What’s more important? The push or the pull? I ultimately chose “Singot” because I felt it was the more positive title, though the end may shake that impression. Even now, I’m still not sure whether I chose the right title.