1. Kectacoco
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    Kectacoco Member

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    When do you title?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Kectacoco, Oct 15, 2012.

    I've seen threads here and other places where persons want to know what they should title their work. Maybe those same people would have been better off if they had thought of a title right away, or perhaps if they had waited awhile longer. So, my question is: When do you title your work?

    Does it depend on the size of the piece? For example, if you're writing an epic novel do you choose not to title it until the last word has been written--sort of like christening a ship.

    How personal of a task do you consider that of titling your pieces?

    Personally, I've never written anything worthy of a thoughtfully chosen title, so I just think of something that reminds me of what I'm writing so I don't lose the file it's written in. I guess you call that a 'working title.' :D
     
  2. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    My first novel I titled I worked, the sequel has a working title of "Die Another Day", which won't say because of the James Bond movie. My third I just save the file as 'unnamed novel 3' until I come up with a title.

    If I don't have one to start, I'll make one when I'm done. However, if published by a traditional publishing house, more then likely they'll choose the title for the novel-at least the first one.
     
  3. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    That is what astounded me. I used the MC's name as the working title, just to keep track from other projects. The publisher and I exchanged many mails and phone calls about various aspects, including some minute details. I was more than astonished when the final novel came out with my working title. In hindsight, it did not hurt too much, but I'll never know.

    Luckily, they published "airport books" and so the cover was fully visible in the racks. Their art work was good and that helped.
     
  4. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I'm not comfortable with titling something until it's either almost finished or completely done.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have a working title for everything even before I start writing. Usually, the final title comes while I'm working on the second draft. Sometimes the title is so simple I don't even do that - The Gun, for example, or The Compass.

    I cannot work on a piece of writing without at least a working title. I have to be able to call it something, even if it's just Batch of Words Number 47.
     
  6. robertpri007
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    robertpri007 Member

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    I completely agree, at least now I do.
    I will never again make the mistake of a quickie title, just to keep track. From then on, it's a been a legitimate title that reflects the WIP.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i most often have one before i start writing...
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I generally have a title to begin with. Doesn't really matter when you give it a 'firm' title, though. And like everything with trade publishers, the final title is something to be discussed (I don't think they can change the title without your permission unless you give them that power in the contract).
     
  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well I named it after my MC for a long time as a working title, and then when I finally had a proper plan and started writing the draft that actually didn't get ditched, I realised a more fitting title and changed it to that. I consider the second title my current working title, but in truth I don't really know what else to call it.
     
  10. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I have based stories off of cool sounding title ideas... :redface: Maybe not the best practice, but it has helped me to get inspired!
     
  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I always have a title when I'm working on something but it doesn't mean I'll stick with it. A section of a short story I posted
    here started as Fish Creature story when I was brain storming the idea - it switched to Fishstyx when I was writing it,
    but I finally settled with Fishstix.

    One surreal epic ( heavily influenced by Twin Peaks ) I wrote when I was 14-16 years old ( over 3,200 pages - on three ring sheets
    so about 1,600 on the printed page ) went through many title changes. It rested for the longest time on the heroine's
    first name until I realized the book if published could be confused with another published book - so I sought out something
    quirkier but in all my paperwork it fluctuates between it's original name, but mainly the heroine's name and the recent
    stuff under the new title. But even that is subject to change.

    I like to have a title for my stories as it helps me to keep focused and keep it personal. Don't think I could
    work on something without a name. But I'm not hung up on nailing down the perfect title. It's like first drafts -
    not everything you first put down will make it into the final draft - that even includes the title. But I
    like to put down something.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I generally have a decent title in mind from the outset. But a title is never final until you are preparing your manuscript for actual submission - and even then, the publisher may have other plans.
     
  13. Luna13
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    Luna13 Active Member

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    Sometimes it's the title that comes to me first - just a phrase of words that sound cool. Then the title inspires the plot.

    With my current project, however, I have yet to come up with a title. Well, that's not quite right - I did think of one, but I always Google my title to make sure it's not already being used, and mine was. If the book is obscure enough, I'll go with it anyway, but "All the Broken Pieces" seemed slightly to prominent of a book to use that title.

    Currently I'm calling it by my protagonist's first name.
     
  14. Still Life
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    Still Life Active Member

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    Don't have it until the very end. I usually don't get that resilient Ping! until I read through the whole story, and sometimes not even then. It usually comes to me at the most inconvenient moments, like one time when I locked myself out of the apartment without my shoes, or that other time I was stuck in one of those boring "This is Corporate Policy" meetings at corporate, and either just unable to get to or just far, far away from my phone/pen and paper/a device to jot notes down on.

    The only thing I have lined up from the very beginning are amusing chapter titles, most of which are just throwaways, or to be folded into my memory file and saved for future reference. :)
     
  15. Jayce
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    Jayce Member

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    I have a love/hate relationship with titling. Sometimes a title will come to me as soon as l get a story idea, sometimes l get a title l'm not fond of but can't think of anything more fitting, and sometimes l get the situation l have now, three pieces of flash fiction and no titles.
     
  16. diminuendo
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    diminuendo New Member

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    I rarely title until I have finished the story, so I can avoid having to change the plot in any way to fit the title.
     
  17. Mikewritesfic
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    Mikewritesfic Senior Member

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    If I have a decent idea for a title I put it on the first page and mentally file it away as a working title. After the story is completed and polished up, that's when I take the title seriously.
     
  18. Youssef Salameh
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    Youssef Salameh Active Member

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    How personal of a task do you consider that of titling your pieces?
    Indeed, a writer, in my point of view shouldn't stop the flow of his thoughts by a single thing like the title; of course, the flow of ideas should be expressed in words righteously and logically, and the title is a completion of the story and a part of it. What's more important is the idea and the moral of the story. So the title is developed from that idea.
     
  19. Calint
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    Calint New Member

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    Mine keeps changing as I write. I normally put a placeholder on a story and let it change. I rarely set anything in stone until I'm 100% comfortable with it. Sometimes I can't even think of one and just label it Story #1, #2, etc.

    It's even worse when I try to name things like solar systems, planets, stations, and even worse still when I try to name star ships....
     
  20. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    I see titling as the one true thing in a novel not ever fully set in stone. You may have a plot sparked from the title or vise versa. Just don't get to attached to it as you my wright a unplanned scene and a word, phrase, statement might be perfect. The title my jump out at you during your last edit. I think quite a few writers have 'Working titles' that even in interviews have admitted changing right at the last second.
     
  21. squirrelpen
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    squirrelpen New Member

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    I don't really have a definite time to title my story. If I have a great title in mind, I would give my book a title immediately but sometimes, I try to finish my story first in order to have an inspiration on the title that I should give my story. I'm not rushing in giving my story a title since the title is important to capture the attention of my readers.
     

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