1. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    Coming up with book titles...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by pacmansays, Mar 6, 2009.

    How do you come up with your book or work titles? Do you have trouble or methods coming up for titles or do they just sping easy into mind? Do you use quotes in your titles or come up with a shortlist of ideas? Do you make it before, during or after your work?

    For me, some work the title is created really easily and sticks for the work, I can't seperate my title from my piece. But sometimes it causes me the most fret out of everything. My current piece is about a teenage boy struggling through life as it tears apart and finds unconvential and even violent ways of expressing himself. But for titles I am really stuck so far I have 'Gravity Release Me' 'The Artist' and 'Coin-Operated Boy' but none of them seem perfect.
     
  2. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I don't have any method of coming up with titles. They just come to me, usually in some sudden revelation, but I don't think I've had to spend much time on titles before. I don't make up any titles before hand, only when I need one. Although I must say, I tend to use a little word play in my titles.

    Titles are the last thing you need to bother about if you haven't thought of one already. It isn't really that important unless you're one of the few that just can't write without a title.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    my titles for everything i write [some of us don't write just 'books' you know ;-) ] come to me easily, 'on their own'... i next to never have to 'think up' a title and most of the time i have one in mind before i even start writing...
     
  4. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    My titles tend to come to me naturally as well. If you're having trouble having an idea float to you, dont worry about it. I find things like writing a particular scene or thinking up a specific phrase are harder when you actually concentrate on it, probably because I feel writing is a very fluid activity and so your thoughts should reflect that.

    One guidline I do give myself is to have my titles be short. I dont like having to abbreviate titles --my own or another authors. Also, if publishing is your eventual goal, short titles are easier to market and tend to leave more of an impact on the reader.
     
  5. Dalouise
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    Dalouise Contributing Member

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    Mine come to me in a flash, at any time from original idea to the finished first draft.
    I don't sweat it, as a publisher or agent may well change it anyway if I get that far!
     
  6. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    Coin-Operated Boy? Isn't that a song?
     
  7. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    The only time I have trouble coming up with a title is when I am trying to come up with something for my poems. I like the titles of my work to express something from the work. That is easy to do with short stories.

    Sometimes I will have a title before the story. is even finished. It is fairly easy becasue in longer works there is so much to draw the story title from. I hope that helps.
     
  8. Jal Phoenix
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    Jal Phoenix Member

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    I used to have lots of trpuble with titles, but at some point that just went away. I end up stamping interesting yet relevant titles onto my stories. I also find myself browsing bookshelves at Barnes & Noble and rolling my eyes at bad book titles. Many title are so boring that I can't bring myself to even pick up the book to read the synopsis. "The *NOUN* of the *NOUN"; "The *COLOR* *NOUN"; "*NOUN* of the/a *ADJECTIVE* *NOUN*. A title shouldn't just sum up the work it should be a grabber, as it's the first thing most readers will see.
     
  9. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I always give a title before I even begin the story; although, I most always change it by the time I am finished with the story.

    I try to think of a title that reflects on what the story is about without giving the story away. What I like most is that at some point in the story the reader goes, oh, that is why the book or short story is named that. I want them to feel like they discovered something when they realize why the story was given its title.
     
  10. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Mine either fit into a series ("Manitou Island," "Return To Manitou Island," "Escape From Manitou Island," "Beneath Manitou Island," etc.) or just kind of creep into my mind over time. I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about a story before I write it so the title gradually comes along in its own time. With shorter stories, I have to think about it a bit more, but I'm not saying my titles are absolutely wonderful or anything. I end up with novella/short-story titles like "Obsession" and "Two Brothers," you see. With short stories/novellas I usually title them afterwards, but novels/serials have titles in mind long before they're written. I don't come up with "lists" of ideas before coming up with stories because then the titles wouldn't fit the stories that emerge afterward; I'd have to shoehorn them on and it wouldn't work. The titles have to fit the stories.

    I honestly can't say where they come from, they just come. *shrug*

    It's somewhat different with chapter titles. With those, I actively think them up because I have a much shorter amount of time in which to come up with them. I use quotes, puns, dramatic titles, obscure titles, funny titles, descriptive titles, whatever fits the chapter. But with longer/single works, it's just this kind of vague process I can't really define.
     
  11. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    Wow, I'd better avoid "The Lord of the Rings", and"The Scarlet Pimpernel".

    (I do see your point though)
     
  12. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I like double meanings. The project I'm working on right now has the title "the Immortals" which refers both to the primary group of characters that the story centers on, and to the story's theme (which I hope readers won't notice till the book is over. Sort of one of those "oh so that's what it means" sort of deals).

    I've done it a few times but I don't really go out of my way to make it work. It's easy sometimes because I probably overuse symbolism in my pieces. Half the time though I don't think anyone notices my constant historical, sci-fi, religious, philisophical, and pop culture references -_-. One time I literally wrote in "He's dead Jim" just because by coincidence my character's name was Jimmy. I hadn't really planned on it it just sort of happened and I thought it was funny, but no one got the joke...
     

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