1. CrawlingInChaos
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    CrawlingInChaos New Member

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    Title troubles?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CrawlingInChaos, Jun 9, 2016.

    I've been struggling to come up with a title for my latest project, a sort of steampunk-fantasy with a Van Helsing-esque protagonist and some historical mythology sprinkled in. Does anyone have any processes they use to come up with titles, or any suggestions that might help me?
     
  2. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    For my *current* title I looked at main themes, messages and characters. What is your protag (A Dragon Child in my case)? Who are they? How do they do things? What are things they have to work out (What loving and hating truly means for your mind)? Or do you have a phrase that a character says that sums your book up? THEN (this step is extremely important) search for your supposed book title, what comes up? Sometimes the title has already been used and this could confuse people or it hasn't but has some real world conations so it extremely important you do this. The title (at the moment) for my wip is The Dragon Child: To Love and To Hate. I'm still not sure about it as it sounds a bit naff to me but the title needs to represent your book so I hope I've helped!
     
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  3. JoshuaLuke
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    JoshuaLuke Member

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    Try not to think to hard about it and wait for it to come naturally. You never know when you will suddenly think of a great idea :)

    Also I.A BY the Barn maybe just having 'The Dragon Child' on its own without 'To Love and To Hate' may sound better in my opinion.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Don't worry about it until after you've finished project. Like JoshuaLuke said, let it come naturally. Something to keep in mind is that the publisher may end up changing the title anyway.
     
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  5. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    @JoshuaLuke Thanks! I still may change it completely again though :bigwink:
     
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  6. Readallaboutit
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    Readallaboutit New Member

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    I always seem to come up with a title pretty early but I've never used an early one by time I'm halfway through or finished something more fitting and natural will come to find and just fit. The problem with coming up with one to early is more possibilitys open up later on and they will sit better
     
  7. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I take my titles from important lines in my story. I also like using the last couple of words in the book as the title. Either way I like my title to be descriptive to the heart of the story of course so that when the reader is done they understand why i chose that title. Example, How I Live Now, those were the last words of the book but it was also representative of the entire story in that the main character when through a complete life style change a few times in the book, the first when she went to England to visit her cousins, the second after the war when her and her cousins had to take refugee in their barn, the third when she goes to live with a family after being separated from the boys and then finally when the war is over she goes back home to the states but then returns to England to be with her cousins and she ends the book with "and that is how I live now."
     
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  8. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    It depends on the person really @obsidian_cicatrix and i were having this conversation where it would take her a while to come up with a name for a project, yet for me, the title is what I use to sometimes use as a place holder to get my idea springboard it, but change it if it doesn't fit later down the line
     
  9. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    I'm pretty convinced that titling is the devil, but like a couple others have mentioned, they're not that important until everything's said and done. I'm calling a current wip "cyberpunk PI" right now because that's what it's about - I might figure out a title when a particularly good or summarizing line crops up in writing or I realize a succinct way to put the theme. Something I've been working on for years now I still just call "the big damn story" (I was watching Firefly at the time, see "big damn heroes") because it's a huge sprawling idea and coming up with a title to fits all of it is a pain. Though, I think I finally found one in scouring space-themed poetry for inspiration and landing on a line that fit the overall theme.

    Working titles are great. Gives you something to think of the project as while it's still in progress and you don't have a fully-informed concept of what it's actually going to be. Once you've finished it, it's really a lot easier to name.
     
  10. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    I started my work with simply Working Title, while something came out of the chapters as they evolved. I am writing a series so wanted something that would work throughout but didn't want to make it based on the main characters, as in Harry Potter and...

    It took a while, but it came to me in the end and I like the way it works on the book cover design, which was another consideration for me, it needed balance with the rest of the image.
     
  11. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    In an ideal case I think the title should nail the heart of the story. A theme is the next expansion of the title. :)
     
  12. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I like simple titles. I've probably taken my cue from Hitchcock - his are usually - an object - Rope, Torn Curtain, Lifeboat, Rear Window - a condition - Psycho, Stage Fright, Frenzy - sayings - North by Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt, Spellbound - or exactly what the story is about - The Man who Knew too Little, Strangers on a Train, To Catch a Thief, The Birds, Marnie. I like to use that same simplicity.

    For my WIP I'm writing about a burnt out TV director/creator who finds himself jealous over a new young star whose creativity he hijacks. I had no idea what to call it because I hadn't sorted out the story when I came up with the idea. But having seen what happens to young stars I thought of the term falling star and added child to it - Falling-Child-Star. I'm not sure if I'll use it but that's the title for now.

    Other titles - I named my robot story Not Pink because the robot calls people pinks and he has no name and so he refers to himself as Not Pink.
    The Worms of Wicher-Woo - exactly what the story is about.
    In the Pit - the nickname of the stories location.
    Skulldaddy - the condition that the mc has for one of the characters - imagining the man is his father.
    Moon Grubs - The nickname of the main characters.

    I don't over think titles. And titles can be swapped around or changed up. One of my novels went through 8 title changes. Another around three.
     
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  13. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I, too, tend to start with a working title that is purely functional. For the novel I am currently pitching, a historical novel about Cuba, I started with the working title of "Cuban Historical" (catchy, huh?). Once I decided on Rosa as a name for one of my characters, the working title became simply "Rosa". Eventually, I settled on the title "Rosa's Secret", which is the title under which I am pitching it.

    My new project is a historical set in the 1600s. So, for now, the working title is "1600s Historical". Like Rosa, it will evolve as the project evolves.
     
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  14. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    Another example, I wrote a short story called Peace in the Valley. Simply put, the main character lives in the valley and makes peace with the inevitable circumstances of life. Peace in the Valley is also the title of an old hymnal and the lyrics are fitting. I wasn't inspired by the song at least on consciously. I came up with the title at the end of the story and it just so happens that the song goes well with it.
     
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  15. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    And that's the first thing I thought of when I saw the title of your story.
     
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  16. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do a word count and name it that, e.g. 103926 [my story names are much smaller numbers, like 37 :) ]
    Yes created a fantastic album simply called 90125. In reality I agree with the idea let the title come to you as you write your story. I do like a title that references something important in the story but also realize a catchy title might be a primary selling point if that is your goal.
     
  17. Buttered Toast
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    Buttered Toast Active Member

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    I knew I wanted my title to fit my trilogy or more books so I wanted everyone to know they were part of the same story so I have added the main characters name or part of it in each title, I just like that idea.
    I also like the obscure, something that gives the story away but doesn't because the title meant something else? Like 'the heart of Sam Smith' but the story isn't about who Sam loves, it's about him loosing his heart and getting a mechanical one :)
     
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