I feel like a lot of people have had this problem at at least one point – Niamh

This shouldn’t be so difficult.

It’s only the first draft – I can change it later if I really don’t like it. So why is it I can’t think up a blooming title for this story?

I stared at the same space on the document as I had been for the last few minutes trying to will a title to appear on the page. I know how the story will go; thought up backgrounds for several characters, significant scenes that would be brimming with character development and yet something as small as the title was giving me so much grief.

Is this what all writers faced or was I just an idiot?

Maybe it was just a confidence thing; like some part of my brain is making me believe I need it all to be perfect from the first draft or else no one will ever like it and then I’ll fail. But that’s ridiculous because how often are things really like that? That’s why editors and betas are a thing. People need constructive criticism to know where to improve.

But then that little voice in the back of my head says otherwise. I should tell that voice to shut up. The voice is wrong, it doesn’t know anything and I need to harnass this spite to show it how wrong it is. Maybe I should name the voice, a good name to say shut up to. Like Gregory.

Shut up Gregory.

Alright now I have a target for my spite. I’ll prove Gregory just how wrong he is. And with that I put down a title at long last. It might need to change later but oh well. I can feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment flowing through me. Like a chain reaction I feel more motivated now than before and my fingers begin their eager dance across the keyboard.

Now I just need a name for my protagonist…

The Life I Never Lived

Another term and another group of students trying to solve the “mysterious death” assigned by their lecturer. The same lecturer; the same name for the deceased, the same person pretending to be a dead body for the crime scene photographs, but a different death.

I wonder how I died this time. Hopefully something more dignified than last year when I drank too much and fell off the balcony. But hopefully not as sad as the year before – I mean who wouldn’t be heartbroken to find out their murderer was their own sister?

But when you never even lived these lives why be sad or annoyed?

That name they use every year is me, but the “body” found at the scene is not me. The details the students find out as they investigate are not of my life. Surely if I were a real person I wouldn’t be so stupid as to fail three exams in one term and gain more than two grand in debt but still party every night.

I listen along with the students as the lecturer rambles on about the final report and deadlines. All the same talk as every year. All the same until the questions start.

“What’s happening with the new campus?” I startle at this as more students question the same. What new campus?

“The new campus should be ready for you all to start come September. Let’s hope it stays that way as this campus won’t be available. The building will be torn down, or at least in the process by then.”

This campus would be gone? What was happening to this course? I’m left to ponder whilst discussion continues until I hear what I was dreading.

“You are the last year of this course.”

These students were the last year? What was going to happen to me then?

There would be no more investigations into my death. How could I then exist if there were no more students. Would I just be left a hollow shell of what little existence I had now? Haunting this same spot even when the building is gone?

Or could I finally be put to rest?