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  1. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Active Member

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    Problems with title

    Discussion in 'Short Stories' started by Woodstock Writer, Apr 21, 2019.

    I’ve written a short story for an anthology, it’s ready to send except I can’t for the life of me think of a title for it. Can anyone share how they come up with titles? I’m generally quite bad at them.

    If anyone can help with suggestions for the story in question (if this isn’t allowed, please forgive me!) it’s a short (1500) word story about a girl who finds out her cousin is a lesbian. The cousin gets bullied and the MC doesn’t stand up for her as the boy she fancies is one of the ones doing the teasing. She goes to see her cousin and apologises and admits to her crush on the boy. Her cousin sets her up with the boy but on the day of their first date she overhears him bullying her cousin and steps in to defend her and tells the boy she won’t go out with him as she doesn’t date bigots.
     
  2. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    Blood Over Water
    Dating/Kissing Bigots
    Girls Like Girls (referencing lesbianism and the bond between the cousins)
     
  3. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Active Member

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    Thanks- I did think of the blood/water thing earlier but wasn’t sure.
     
  4. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    I say don't overthink it. As long as it's short, and sounds fine you are good. I rarely see a title and think "wow, that is just horrible". Also, a bad title has never turned me off from a story.
     
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  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I think a character's name can work well for a short story title, especially if a lot happening in the story revolves around a specific character. It doesn't have to be the POV character. Also, I never get too attached to titles. Editors often change them, and I'm okay with that. If I'm getting paid and published they can call it whatever they want. Try not to be cliche because a cliche title alone is enough for an editor to stop reading quickly and hit that reject button. A line or partial line from a story can often work well for a title. I sometimes play on inspiration from other authors when it comes to creating titles. The more you read and pay attention to what other short story writers are using for titles, the easier it can become to title your own work. Titles are something I also struggle with so I understand where you're coming from. But don't overthink it or get too attached to a title. More than half of the titles in my published work have been changed by editors. I think it's a fairly common thing. You just don't want something that is going to turn them off from reading the story to start with. But they will change it to something better if they buy your work and think it needs it.
     
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  6. Woodstock Writer

    Woodstock Writer Active Member

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    Thanks! Most of my stories I’d be quite happy with them changing my title. There’s just one novel I’m writing where I feel the title I’ve chosen is a really good one. But if it was change the title or don’t have it published, obviously I’d agree to change it!
     

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