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February 23rd, 2005, 04:02 PM
I am totally stuck for a name for a novel I am working on. Never had this before. Each project I have worked on, has had a name within half a page... this is 40,000 words and still doesn't have one, even a working one. It's just called son of monster or monster number 2 and 1/2

I am totally at a loss this time as to what to call it, I can see me in a months time first draft done and still not title...

Has this happened to you?

You spend hours working on something and you don't know what to call it?

February 23rd, 2005, 05:12 PM
I feel your pain. I once had a story hit 80,000 words without a name. And then, suddenly, I came up with three really good ones and couldn't decide. Which is kind of ironic...

February 23rd, 2005, 05:20 PM
I have never created a name for any story because I dont know what to call it either, other then StarWars.

February 23rd, 2005, 05:25 PM
The only thing of any length I have ever written had a name before I'd even started writing it. If it ever gets published it'll need changing though...


February 23rd, 2005, 05:56 PM
Did you think about just calling it Oracle? I mean you can't rightly call it 'It' ;) Other than that I guess it should involve something to do with 'future' or changing. The only piece that I struggled with, I solved when I inadvertently gave my character a different name, about 25,000 words in, and that became the basis for the title.

February 23rd, 2005, 06:01 PM
Titles can be a (what's the nice word for . . .?) um, a hassle. Sometimes it's very obvious; "This story should be called, 'Gone with the Wind'," sometimes not so much; "How about, 'Dr. Jeckle's transfigurating potion'?"

I have a book about writing and publishing scientific papers (It was free :) ), in it there is a whole chapter about how to prepare a title. The author said, "Perhaps few people, if any, will read the entire paper, but many people will read the title,"--Robert A. Day, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. (I went and got it off the shelf so I wouldn't misquote. :rolleyes: )

In what is often a very short, make that VERY short collection of words, often a word or two, you have to convey some kind of message that says to the reader, "Hey, read me! This is what I'm like." It can't be easy. At times you can indicate what kind of story you are presenting, i.e. Murder in the Elevator or When Mutant Space Sleds Go Bad. Or you can be a bit less obvious; Legacy. Sometimes the message is, "If you want to know, read on . . ."

I'm not helping much am I? I personally like to center my titles around my characters, either their names or something very definite about the situation they will find themselves in, perhaps even the cause of said situation. Many times I will pick a title, not liking it, and change it several times until it's still something I don't really like. Occasionally I come up with a really good one.

Good luck.

Rocket Sheep
February 23rd, 2005, 06:41 PM
You know how all the fantasy stories call things someone's quest or someone's journey or someone's star/flame/sword/moon etc... I hate that... altho maybe fantasy readers like it... since it's so familiar.

Is there a ticking clock in your novel? Does something have to be done before the third moon rises or the King loses his head... then you could call it Third Moon Rising or The King's Head... great names for pubs... that would set the ticking clock firmly in the reader's brain. They'd have that Ohhhh, moment.

February 23rd, 2005, 07:14 PM
Usually when a title is slow in coming, it's because you haven't figured out the main themes yet, or there's something in the text that does capture the whole essence of the book or series but it hasn't popped out at you yet. Sometimes it doesn't happen until the book is done, or even then. Amy Tan originally called her first novel, "Wind and Water," pretty innocuous. Her agent pulled the final title, "The Joy Luck Club," from the actual text. Tan hadn't thought to use it. And I believe "Gone with the Wind" was called something much less catchy at first.

The book I'm working on now, I didn't have a title for a long time. Of course, I didn't have a plot right away either. But once I went along and started thinking some about what I might do later on in the series, I realized I wanted to use one word titles for each possible book. And the title for the first one just popped out once I figured that out. The short story I just finished, the title didn't come until I was nearly done with the first draft, and then it seemed so obvious, I didn't understand why I didn't have it at the start. But on another project that I hope to write some day, the title came first before I had any characters or plot. The brain believes in change ups.

February 23rd, 2005, 08:53 PM
Well there have been a few cases where I came up with some great titles, and then I built the story based off the title. That was actually pretty interesting.

But when I am writing a story and I have trouble naming it, I usually have to completely finish the work before something will come to me.

February 24th, 2005, 02:53 AM
I am glad I am not the only one....:D

Kater: I have thought of that, but wonder if it will give the wrong impression about the story. *sigh*

It is not a traditional fantasy. It is hardly fantasy at all, just textured with and set in a world that does not exist. Yet it mirrors this one in many ways. Money is money there, trains are trains and people suffer from the same type of problems. There are no wizards, strange races... no magic as such, though there is something...

This story is a one off for me, I have written nothing like it before. I am not getting side tracked by the asking of myself "is this possible" I am asking myself, how can I write it that would make my reader believe it is possible. Big difference...

Just wish I could take a couple of weeks leave I would get this finished in that time....