1. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    Project names / working titles

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Bjørnar Munkerud, Mar 17, 2015.

    I've found myself using the phrase "project name" a lot here on writingforums. Not many others seem to be using it. I think it's just one of those terms I started using because of necessity and coincidences and just stuck with even though others may not even understand it, because it's somehow enough that it does to me.

    Personally I use the term to refer to a working title, like films and video games often have before their creators agree on the final name. I don't like merely numbering my projects, referring to them as "that novel I'm writing with that girl and the dog finding an ancient chest", calling them Untitled or giving them names immediately upon conception. So I gradually grew into giving each project a short, arbitrary (yet fixed) word of at least four letters as their name, often with "Project " or "P" in front to avoid confusion with other things, because I have a lot of potential future project ideas stored on my computer at any given time that benefit from having titles.

    How do you handle this? Only one project at a time? Tentative, informal names that change over time? Referring to them by your best guess as to what the title will be? How do you label and organise your folders, if you have any?

    Here's my current list of projects and the reasons for their names:
    Anaconda - the first name of the MC
    Blonde - the love interest is blonde
    Butterfly - involves the butterfly effect
    Catie - the love interest's nickname
    City - the MC plans to conquer the world one city at a time
    Claire - the love interest's name
    Colour - there are three magical towers, each with its own primary colour
    Come - about two people who come together both physically and idiomatically
    Dark - the classic tale of a small group of good-hearted people trying to defeat darkness
    Detect - the MC has the ability to choose not to be detected on radars and to be invisible etc.
    Dine - centred on a family sitting around the kitchen table eating and chatting
    Emma - the love interest's name
    Fantasy - the story's genre
    Female - the love interest is female
    Forest - the characters are in a forest
    Four - a sci-fi set during a time when humanity has established settlements on three other celestial bodies
    France - set in France
    Gale - the initials of the two primary characters are GA and LE
    Ghost - about a boy who befriends a ghost
    Homo - the two primary characters are a gay couple
    Invi - the MC's nickname
    Jack - the main contender for the MC's name when I first conceptualised the project
    Joke - most of the characters are from jokes
    King - the MC works for the king
    Last - I can't remember, but it probably has something to do with the setting
    League - the characters are league of superheroes
    Magora - the surname of the MC's mentor/boss
    Milk - a sci-fi set in the Milky Way
    Myth - a fantasy set in a world of myths, mythical creatures etc.
    Natalie - the love interest's name
    News - I have no idea, probably picked at random
    Prim - the setting and situation is quite similar to Primrose Everdeen's in The Hunger Games
    Quadrant - a sci-fi where space is divided into quadrants
    Scandinavia - the antagonists are Scandinavians
    Stream - about two men who frequently communicate with eachother via an Internet live stream
    Suicide - the two primary characters both separately plan to kill themselves
    Time - it's a time travel story
    Tower - the MC's people all live in a single tower
    Travel - travelling away from a certain diameter around the MC basically makes you a zombie
    Utts - the name of an alien species featured in the story
    Vampire - the love interest is a vampireesque creature
    Vision - the MC sporadic experiences visions of the fates of people he meets
    Wright - the MC's surname
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  2. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Sorry, I don't really understand the question. If I have several works in progress, the title of each is the title (maybe temporary) I chose for it.
     
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  3. Bjørnar Munkerud
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    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    I think you understood it perfectly. This is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. You have a much simpler system that I do, that's all.
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just call them by the working title.

    But when I have rough ideas and want to jot them down in a Word file and save them for future inspiration, I just start typing and then when it's time to save, Word suggests a title using the first words of the notes I wrote, and I leave it that way. Too early for a title, but it's kind of useful to have, for example "Warrior society where those who lose battles" as a title. It doesn't tell me everything I need to know, but it lets me know the idea is probably some sort of spec fic, not a contemporary romance or whatever.
     
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  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I slap any title on every project including projects still just ideas. I rarely call anything untitled unless I don't want to reveal the title or I'm torn between titles. For a while my Road Trip story was dubbed road trip on this site but it actually had two working titles - Switch-Hitcher and Casey. By the fourth chapter I finally settled on Vulture Bait.

    I rarely call a work doc by what the project is - for one reason it would be too hard to search through all those synopsis sounding titles but also because giving it a title can perk my interest if I've forgotten a project.
     
  6. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mine has gone through a few working titles and probably will get more. I try to get a firm title and occasionally think I've hit it, but either it doesn't fit or readers really dislike it. Here's the evolution so far.

    "The White Zuchetto" -> "White" -> "WorldWide" (not really a title as much as a stand-in project label) -> "The Midst of the Fire" -> "Millenial Reign"

    I thought I'd really hit something with Millenial Reign but my writing group hated it and said it made them expect sci-fi rather than what it was meant to be (A biblical reference to the millenial reign of Christ twisted into a reference to the Millenial Generation)

    I think for now I'm changing it to just "Millenial"
     
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  7. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    For me, they are working titles.

    My working titles list:

    Ties That Harm (current wip, follow up to published fiction book)
    Ties That Heal (at the 'may not happen' stage)
    Sebastian's Inferno (offshoot from a character in Ties That Harm)
    Alexandra's Kitchen (non-fiction/fiction crossover)
    Through A Father's Eyes (non-fiction at the research stage follow up to published non-fiction book)
     
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  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    My current main WIP is 'A Serpet's Trap' - that's the working title anyway.

    It's the story of a cycle of violence and murder.
     
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  9. GalwayGirl
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    GalwayGirl Member

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    Mine tend to start out with the first names of the main characters so this one I'm working on at the moment was called Aiden, which then changed to Eve and Aiden and later evolved into Summer's Eve. I doubt I will be changing it from it's current title as I think it works well with the plot.
     
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  10. Lancie
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    Lancie Contributing Member

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    I wish there was some deep thoought process but the name of the piece is often the very last thing I think about. Usually a single word that roughly describes the plot to begin with, I have 'Ghost' 1 and 2 and now I've got a working title 'You're Not There' which kind of evolved as the drafts went. Otherwise, I'll name them after the main character or genre. I do have one file named 'Thingy' and 'Sci Fi thingy' because I couldn't be bothered to think of anything. Should probably try and organise myself.
     
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