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  1. Rawiya
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    Rawiya Member

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    *Untitled* Works

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rawiya, Aug 8, 2008.

    Everybody has them. People like me hate them. I cannot make myself share a piece that doesn't have a title, because for me its unfinished. And working titles seem like cheating, though admittedly, they get me to put my stuff out for review.

    I'm working on a story right now that I want to share, but it doesn't have a title. After trying to think about one for awhile, I started to wonder: how do other writers think of titles for their songs, poems, plays and stories. Does anybody have any tricks they'd like to share?

    One think I like to do is take a memorable line from the piece and work off that. What do you guys do?
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    The title usually comes last, for me... By the time everything else is sorted, it just sort of comes to me.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ditto.
     
  4. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    Actually, I don't have any stories without a title. Titles usually come to me before I even start on the story. They just miraculously pop into my mind. However, lets just say I draw titles from my purpose or motivation to write the story in relation to what the story is about.

    For example, I have a super secret story---that no one will ever read---titled "Weapons of Affection." The story does not centers around romance, but the reason I started the story was related to romance; and you can probably guess from the word "Weapons," that the genre of the story may be action/adventure.
     
  5. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    For me I always seem to have a title before I finish the story. Some how the title always explains the story in a nutshell. One story was "My Little Secret", And another was "Twilight", and there was Ring. all different stories but summed up very simply
     
  6. Rawiya
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    Rawiya Member

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    Geh. You're all pretty lucky. Whenever I come up with a title before the story, the two end up have nothing to do with each other. Though, often I will have a title before the story is done sometimes I just don't.
     
  7. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I don't decide on a final title -- the publisher will usually change it anyway.

    Working titles are just the MC's first name.
     
  8. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    I'm struggling now to come up with a title for my latest novel, so this is definately a subject that's been on my mind. I often try to find a significant theme or phrase that's repeated throughout the story. Sometimes I give in and go with a working title, but that usually ends up in much the same way as the "temporary names" I give my characters. After awhile, I get so used to them, they become permanent and I can't get rid of them.
     
  9. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    The publisher can't change the title if you're not seeking publication. :) Just a reminder that getting published isn't the only reason why some people write...

    My titles are usually thought of ahead of time and are pretty straightforward...when I don't have one from the start I just take something from the story. For example a story about one person stalking another is called "Obsession." I'm usually not terribly creative with such things. *shrug* Once in a great while a title is more subtle. I have a story about child abuse called "A Crack Of Light," for example, and the title refers to what the victim sees as his door cracks open late at night.

    Other than that, coming up with titles is usually something I don't tend to think about much unless I at last come up against a story that I can't think of a title for. I have one particular story that has been entitled "Random Scene 3" for years now, and another called just "Random Story 2." :redface: Don't know why but I just can't think of titles for them.

    I seem to be a lot more creative coming up with titles for chapters, it seems.
     
  10. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    That's true, but the OP asked, "what do you guys do?" I answered the question about what I do.
     
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  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I usually have some sort of working title when I'm writing. It doesn't matter if it's a superfine ultimo coolnes titla, because there's a veru good chance that I will retitle it after everything else is done.

    The real title is a finishing touch. If you don't have a title you're really happy with from the start, don't sweat it. You can leave it for the very last.
     
  12. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I generally have a title befire I start writing. I can do research and background and planning and world-building without a title, but I can't write without one.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This is pretty much the reason I don't worry about titles until I'm done or close to done. I find that fretting over the title has a way of limiting where I am going with the story.

    For the same reason, I never, ever number chapters. I usually give them quasi-titles based in the key plot element within the given chapter. If I number them, I find that, again, this has a way of limiting what I might need/want to put in-between two chapters that already lay next to one another numericaly.
     
  14. Adelaide
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    It's so funny and interesting to read about others' experiences and processes. I almost never have a title before I start working on a piece and often find it difficult to think of a befitting one once it's done. I don't know why. Other people express difficulty when choosing character names, but that's something that is never a problem for me. Everyone works slightly differently. :)
     
  15. Flozzie
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    Flozzie Active Member

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    Ditto on that.
     
  16. Rawiya
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    Rawiya Member

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    Well, at least I'm not the only one then! :-D
     
  17. tnme22
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    tnme22 Member

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    same for me :)
     
  18. dazbizkit
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    I usually come up with a title on the birth stages of ideas. I never do it on purpose mind, they just come to me as I'm thinking of a simple plot and if I'm aiming on being genre specific. It's weird but a title is what makes me carry it on. Without a name, it's just an idea, but with a title it's a story i feel i want to tell.

    Character names come to me in lots of different ways. Some are thought up on the spot, and some are based on that characters personality and appearance etc.
     
  19. Rawiya
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    Rawiya Member

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    I don't think that it's weird at all. That's actually why I absolutely refuse to publish anything, even on a forum in a critique room, without a title. Its just not done.
     
  20. Alexa
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    Alexa Member

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    I usually put a temp title. Just randomness to tell one story from the other until I finish the story and then I'll figure out a permanent title for it. I just feel that the title will come together once the story itself is finished. So usually I don't bother with one until I finish a story.
     
  21. StormWarrior
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    StormWarrior Member

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    I found I just had to come up with a title first. I went through all my favourite CDs and picked out some words and phrases I liked, rearranged them and came up with a title I like.
     
  22. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    Ok I thought the title of my short story "Twilighter" was a good one, but apparently I was wrong. I guess I need help with a good tittle
     
  23. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    I usually come up with a title close to last, not when I'm done writing it but usually when I've got all the major details of where the story is going and how it's getting there worked out.

    I don't put much emphasis on the title really as long as it's at least somewhat descriptive of the story it works for me.
     

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