1. writtenlove
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    writtenlove Member

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    What do you do first title or story?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by writtenlove, Jan 21, 2010.

    I usually do the title first because it makes see everything clearly and where I want the story to go.
     
  2. essential life
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    essential life Member

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    An interesting question. Usually I try to come up with a title that best exemplifies the overall concept of my story, and since I always come up with the concept before I write the story, then yes, title usually comes first.
     
  3. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    I usually create a working title for whatever it is that I'm writing. I just pick something that sounds nice and goes with the theme / scene that I'm writing. Almost always I change the title after I'm finished writing.
     
  4. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    A title might be useful as something you can use to refer to your story but until the story is done that name is just a pet name. The title of your story may have to be different once the dust settles.

    I call my stories by what I call 'stable names' while I'm writing them. I got the term from my grandfather who used to train race horses. When the horses raced they used their racing names which were often quite unweildy and complicated but, when the horses were off the track, they were called by their stable names which were always nice and simple.
     
  5. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    I don't usually start with a title. The story is what will matter so i usually let the title come to me whenever. In the current story i'm writing, i've been working for lmost six months and the first trace of a title just popped into my head while i was thinking about my story. I find that thinking of the title first takes me a long time so i do this.
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I start with the story... I seem to be in the minority, but my reasoning is that I want the title to fit the piece, and I can't really be sure that it will do that, until the piece is finished.
     
  7. Ecksvie
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    Ecksvie Member

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    Some of my stories are just born with titles, and they stay the same from beginning to when I consider it finished.

    Other stories have their titles appear along the way, while there are others which still dont have titles when I've finished them.

    I dont do working titles. I become attached to them and I know I wont be able to stop calling the story that. Before it gets a title, I usually prefer to the book using the name of the protagonist, the name of the world (if there is one) or by the theme if it's particularly strong, but that's never a title, just a name to refer to it by.
     
  8. x_raichelle_x
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    x_raichelle_x Contributing Member

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    The story. I don't want to be limited by a word or phrase which may not even end up being used in the end product.

    x
     
  9. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I usually go with "untitled-date" on most of my pieces. Sometimes I use just the subject of the piece, like my current save document is "zombies." Obviously, that's not what I'm going to title the novel, but it keeps me from getting confused. I title my folder the same thing, then put the chapters in separate docs, "zombies chap 1" ect. I like to write the story first, then pick something, either a phrase, an overall feeling, or something from the piece to name it.
     
  10. Xelah
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    Xelah Member

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    A title usually comes to me at some point while I'm working on the story, usually around the time I'm halfway through with writing it.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I may have a title at the beginning, but more often than not it's just a file name until I'm done with the story.
     
  12. RomanticRose
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    RomanticRose Active Member

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    I write mostly for publication or at least the hope of publication, so I only use working titles, since the title is one of the things the High Priests and Priestesses of Marketing get most of the imput on.
    The working title for any piece is the first name of the main character unless while I'm writing a really great working title pops up.
     
  13. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I always start with a title. Titles in my story reflects an idea, a feeling, or even a concept in the story that's not easily noticeable. In a way, the titles of my story represents what the entire story is about: it is the centerpiece.
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Title first, but only if I know it, then the story comes.
    If I don't know the title, I write the story first.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've done both... but even if i start from a title, the title has already suggested a story of some sort...
     
  16. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    It really is a toss-up for me. Sometimes all I can think of is a good title and nothing comes so it ends up sitting in a pile "good titles/no story". Othertimes I think of the story and have to come up with a title, which I'm not always satisfied with. Some stories have the titles pop in my head instantly and just fit while others I play around with (add words, play on words, etc.). So really could be either/or for me.
     
  17. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    This is how I think. I rarely have titles. I can't even think of a time where I thought of it before the story. Usually I just start writing the story and go from the there. I think that is mainly because I have an idea and I just run with it.
     
  18. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    My stories, so far, NEVER have a title when I start writing. I don't plan a manuscript the way one would plan a trip to the market or a trip to Cape Cod. The storyline seduces me to write it and, somewhere along the way, I need to have some way of referring to it and naming the file in my computer and things like that. I usually start with the main character's name. Only later does the story suggest a title for itself and, even then, you can be sure if a pub thinks they've got a better title, yours will hit the deep six. I've learned to be pretty relaxed about the title. Even in different countries, the same story can have a different title from one continent to another so, for me, the title is just not that important.
     
  19. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The story comes first comes first comes first

    you can have the best title, best characters, best plot

    without a story, everything else is a bonus



    hence the terms "working title" or "untitled as yet", sometimes stories will change titles half a dozen times before a final is approved

    such is show business:cool:
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Well, Jonathan, I'm inclined to agree. However, such an absolute stance gives me pause.

    Every story begins with an idea. What if a title sticks in your mind, and that leads to an idea that subsequently grows into a story?

    For my part, I generally come up with a story idea first, and the title comes to me later.
     
  21. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    good point, we can't help but get attached to catchy titles, and sometimes titles do sell, so a good deal of thought should go into that as well:rolleyes:
     
  22. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most of the time I have a story idea in my head before I have a title.

    However I am pretty sure I have thought of a phrase or something that later triggered the story.
     
  23. HMTQ - Madge
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    HMTQ - Madge New Member

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    Hm... Well, my answer is fairly mixed. Most of the time I'll come up with a title mid story; Sometimes the only story I have to go with is the title. I'd say I come up with the story first for 90% of the time, though.
     
  24. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I write the story first, and then choose a title that best summarizes what the book is about. If I choose a title first, I find myself conforming to that title, bending my ideas so they fit the title rather than making the title fit the ideas. Thus I title it when I've made sufficient progress. :D
     
  25. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I almost always write the story first. The title either comes to me as I'm writing or when I finish the story. I did start with a title two or three times, but I ended up changing it later.
     

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