1. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Tips on creating a Title

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Midnight_Adventurer, Mar 29, 2010.

    Now before you all jump to the conclusion that I'm just a lazy uncreative writer who can’t be bothered coming up with her own titles you'd be wrong.
    I'm fact I enjoy creating the titles for the little tid-bits I’ve written, it’s challenging to come up with those few words that capture the essence of you story.
    Annnyyyway I'm currently working on my first major novel but for the life of me I CAN’T THINK OF A GOOD TITLE! :mad: Now I'm not gonna sit here and give you a detailed description of what my novel is about because I don’t want you guys to give me actual suggestions because I can see a copy write fiasco right there, lol. I will however tell you this;
    * It's an adventure/action novel
    * I will (hopefully) be making in into a trilogy
    * I'll have a main title and a sub title. The main title will be the same for each book and the sub will change. Right now I have a sub title but not the main!

    This is where you guys come in :) please if you have any tips or suggestions about creating titles share them here and I’ll give them a try!:D
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    First off, no one will steal your book from a synopsis.
    Second, the word is copyright. Ideas are not copyrightable. Only completed works (including drafts) are copyrightable. And they are protected by copyright law automatically as soon as you have a completed draft.
    Titles are not copyrightable either.

    Now to the main question. Don't worry about it. Just choose a working title for now. It doesn't need to be great. It's just a placeholder, a convenient label whileyou are writing the novel.

    You don't need a real title until you are nearly ready to submit. By the time your novel is complete, undoubtedly something will stand out for you, some important moment, that will suggest a title for you. Or you have been turning over the storyline of your book in your head so many times that a title will just click into place for you.

    Focus on getting the story written. The title is one of the last things you will need to nail down.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I usually start with a working title at the beginning. You can even call it "Untitled" and then change it as you write. Anyways, the title is not that important right now. Finish the novel first and then it will be much easier to think of a fitting title.
     
  4. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Good advice thirdwind and Cogito and yes you're right it is copyright my bad, I was actually trying to be funny with that whole thing...I guess I wasn't. I do have a working title at the moment but it bugs me everytime I look at it, lol. I'm also aware that no one is going to steal my idea I just didn't want to waste time posting a plot outline.
    Thanks!
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    stop agonizing over the title and concentrate on just finishing the novel!... a title will make itself known eventually, but if you don't get the thing completed, it won't need a title...
     
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  6. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Ok, ok it seems like the people have spoken (even if it was only 3) and the consensus is, leave the title till last and focus on writing! So that's what I'm going to do :)
    Thanks everyone!
     
  7. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't really worry about the title of a story I'm writing. If I don't have one in mind, I'll just temporarily give it the name of my main character. It's easy to get sidetracked with unimportant stuff like this and forget about what's key: getting the story down on paper.
     
  8. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    You're worrying about what to call a painting you haven't finished yet.

    Stop worrying.

    It will come to you once you get a chance to step back and admire your work.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep - just pick something that entertains you. A key early scene in my NaNoWriMo novel for 2009 was something washing down a drain, so I called the whole thing _Coriolis Effect_. There's no telling what I'd actually call the thing if I finished it.
     
  10. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I usually write the story first, and then try to summarize it in just a few words. I've found that if I write a title before the story, I start bending the story to fit the title.

    Just try to summarize the story in a few words. That's all I can give, sorry. :(
     
  11. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    A title should be short and broad, something that leaves the reader wondering. You don't want to give a hard and factual title, because unlike technical books and manuals and the like, the reader is usually not searching for a very specific topic and will be more drawn to something that is mysterious and does not immediately show what kind of story/novel it is. Something very unusual is also very effective, just because people will wonder it at it more.
     
  12. valdein lawnstin
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    valdein lawnstin Member

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    i have never finished any novel i have started but in my experience (fiction, young adult) i typically sit and think about my main character. who is he/she, what makes him/her different from his/her peers. typically i wright a fictional character based on my id or superego depending. i think of the adventures the character goes on and the events that happen and i play the story out in my mind and how this character reacts to the challenges facing them.

    mainly the ultimate delema the character faces and bam the title pops in my head. the process may take months but it will probably give you an idea on the major goal.

    it helps to know who you are writing too and the type of character you are building, is it a heroic character a dark one a feeble one. or is it you.

    do you know how your trilogy is going to end or will it bee three separate stories involving the same character or line of characters.

    feedback for feed back
     
  13. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    Your title should be something that summerizes the book as whole, but leaves the reader wondering.

    Or you could choose one element from the book that is also a metaphor.
    From the top of my head: maybe someone on his dying bed trying to make peace with the fact he'll be gone soon? And does he look at the falling leafs in the autumn at some point, contemplating his life. Then use the falling autumn leafs as a symbol. Your title could be something like "fall" or "leaves" which both refer to leafs and dying.

    Small details that are a symbol of the theme of your book are always a good title.

    I'm writing a fantasy novel for young adults and I simply named the book after my main character ( I think, it's not finished so it remains a working title )

    Good luck and happy writing! :)
     
  14. Cardboard Tube Knight
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    Cardboard Tube Knight Member

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    Best thing I have figured out works for me, give it a code name, something to call it while you work and during the course something will usually come to you. Kind of like how video game systems and Windows OS's take a name before they take their name on (Vista was LONGHORN). Just use something to name it temporarily, knock those words out on the keyboard and then somewhere it will come to you.

    Most of my stories are named after a song or something before they get titles.
     
  15. Shinn
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    Shinn Banned

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    Skip on the title until you've finished the novel - if you try to work out a title at the beginning, you will be mucking around and not getting any writing done.
     
  16. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Most often, this is true.

    Occasionally a title will come along ready-made at the beginning, with the story idea, but most of the time it's something that becomes clear through the writing, or with the conclusion, of the piece itself.
     
  17. writingchick8
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    writingchick8 Member

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    I sometimes create the title first because it helps me envision the story better. I don't know why, but it does.

    Pick some random descriptive words about your story (ie. fantasy, action, bird, love, blood, whatever) and then change words around until you get something you like. Like the game where you see how many words you can make out of the letters in "Washington" but rather how many titles you can get out of the random words you chose.
     
  18. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Wow there are some great suggestions here people thanks so much! I have gone with the general consensus and decided to accept the horrible name I have for the moment and continue with my writing. I will reconsider the title when I've completed my novel. But I want look past the tips for creating a title, I’ll make sure I’ll try them all :)
    Thanks again!
     

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