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milady
May 21st, 2005, 09:12 PM
Anyone have a working title? Do you do that?

What do you think about title names in general?

The abstract (eg. something with 'hope' 'glory' 'love' etc in the title). Sort of naming the book after a theme a la Pride and Prejudice (sorry i couldn't think of a fantasy example off the top of my head).

Common nouns. I think anything with 'sword' in the title is pathetic. No matter how important a 'sword' is to your story, there are TOO many titles with 'sword' in them.
Ditto for king, magic, etc.

So many books, however, use this type of title. I suppose it's a sort of advertising, it guarantees plenty of stock fantasy in the book, but it is very boring, and not particularly easy to remember, except for famous authors.

The other path is naming it after the main character or the world it is set in. eg. Assassin's Apprentice.

Or after the main character's name eg. Sabriel.

There's also giving it a sort of metaphor as a name, but I guess that goes with abstract.

Personally, I like anything with alliteration. Alliteration (and any word play) is goooood. :)

Acaptus
May 21st, 2005, 10:37 PM
My titles are usually very obscure. I take what I consider to be the main theme or character in the story, and just sort of do word association stuff until I come up with something interesting. The most literal title I've ever come up with is, "The Diamond Stream" which refers to an incredibly important thing in the book that is never referred to as a diamond stream.

michaelS0620
May 21st, 2005, 11:26 PM
It depends. Working titles can be pretty much anything. Its more an abbreviation than anything else, and doesn't have to be too well thought through since its mostly for your own use.

Personally I think the titles that resonate best are ones built off of metaphor. One of the best way to do this is to pull out a metaphor or phrase from the story itself and use that. It gives the line more importance and resonance when it happens in the story.

TheEarCollector
May 21st, 2005, 11:44 PM
It really depends on the story, something usually just comes to me...
I guess I prefer to have titles that somehow hint to the theme or setting.

My personal favorite is "Will Fight For Food"
Long story short, it's a story about hobos being enlisted in post-apocalyptic suburban warfare.

MrBF1V3
May 22nd, 2005, 01:19 AM
I usually go through a dozen or more working titles before I find one that ... um...works. Sometimes getting a good title is easy, sometimes, not so much.

More people will read your title than will ever read your story. It's your one time chance to advertise, to reach out and say, "Read me." (Which has been my first working title several times.)

There are some very definite rules about how to choose the perfect title for your story, unfortunately, they change every other week. :rolleyes:
B5

milady
May 22nd, 2005, 03:15 AM
It depends. Working titles can be pretty much anything. Its more an abbreviation than anything else, and doesn't have to be too well thought through since its mostly for your own use.

Personally I think the titles that resonate best are ones built off of metaphor. One of the best way to do this is to pull out a metaphor or phrase from the story itself and use that. It gives the line more importance and resonance when it happens in the story.
Yes I do think the metaphor ones work well; however, I also think it should sound good on its own, without any background from having read the story (like Mr.B said with the advertising)


My personal favorite is "Will Fight For Food"
Long story short, it's a story about hobos being enlisted in post-apocalyptic suburban warfare.
"will fight for food" - hehe, and it has relevance to your story too. You've heard of 'bumfights' (http://www.rotten.com/library/culture/bumfights/)? Perhaps the apocolypse is sooner than we think. :rolleyes:

kater
May 22nd, 2005, 08:25 AM
I've very lucky in that I pretty much nail my titles straight away, most come from an aspect of the protagonist, the main storyline or a combination of both. Creating titles is an aspect of writing I really enjoy and sometimes its a lot of fun to create a title and then write about the title, see what images it brings to mind.

michaelS0620
May 22nd, 2005, 12:05 PM
Yes I do think the metaphor ones work well; however, I also think it should sound good on its own, without any background from having read the story (like Mr.B said with the advertising)


Yes, a good title wil do both. It will sound/look good on the shelf for someone who has not read the title, and it will also add resonance as someone reads along. Arguably the first piece is what's more important as its the first thing a buyer (or editor) sees of your work. As silly as it may sound many people skip over bad titles (and bad covers). I admit to doing the same myself. In the Super-Mega-BookWareHouse(tm) the shear number of books can be overwhelming and titles are a way to narrow it down quickly.

Michael

Dawnstorm
May 22nd, 2005, 01:36 PM
I usually go through a dozen or more working titles before I find one that ... um...works.

But then it does! Your titles are intriguing and once you read the story they fit though you couldn't put your finger on it, why. You're very good at naming stories.

JRMurdock
May 22nd, 2005, 02:48 PM
I'm also lucky that titles come to me right away. I'm usually never at a loss for ideas of titles.

I've used names of the characters if I come up with an interesting name(Chezron). I've used the main object in the story(The Drawbridge). I've used the main concept of the story (Therapy). I've used twists on phrases (The Father and the Sun). I've used weird titles (Let Go of My Pigeon). I've used very plain titles (Pat and the Apple Pie). I've used questioning titles (Don't Eat the Bread). I've used questions (Dragon Slayer?) I've used song lyrics (Where Are All the Gods).

There's an abundance of places to get inspiration from for a story title. Best thing, don't dwell on it and it'll jump up and bite you in the bum.