Generating Titles


As I said a couple of days ago, I love finding names for my characters, but, what I love even more is finding Title Ideas 🙂 A good title idea can prompt a story in itself, and often does for me. An interesting title will intrigue a reader, I know it does me. One of my 2 favourite examples from successful books are:

If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things
and
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nightime

Both, fantastic examples of how a title can sell a book. Imagine if Mark Haddon had just called it “The Dog” *yawns*

I’m sitting here at the moment, in front of my sons birthday cards. It was his birthday on Wednesday. I found one of his cards very inspiring.

20120315-103222.jpg

Bam! “Dressing Like Dad” what a great title for a story. I’m conjuring up the scenes in my head as I type lol

I find title ideas absolutely every where and I allocate a page in my note book where I write them all down, the minute I spot one. So here are a few tips on finding those titles…..And the stories to go with them 😉

1. Lines from poetry.

2. Quotes.

3. The Titles given to pieces of art, especially modern art.

4. Writing prompts. I often use words from the actual prompt I’m using as a title.

5. Flick through a non fiction book, the titles of the chapters (even self help type books can be good for that!) or go to the library and look at all the titles of non fiction books.

6. A Theasaurus is brilliant. Think of your title, then look up the words to see if you can make it better, a different word can add so much more meaning to the title.

7. Newspaper headlines and magazine article titles.

8. Subjects of e mails….I know, you’re looking at me strangely lol…. Try it! I had an e mail yesterday from a web site I subscribe to and the title was “Hire a Hooker for Your Husband” *snigger* Now you’re looking at me like I’m a real weirdo lol.

9. Song lyrics and titles….the song itself could inspire a story.

10. Eavesdrop on people’s conversations, in cafe’s, shops, sometimes, someone will come out with a gem. If you don’t get out much TV and films are good too, even the news programmes. I wonder if Lionel Shriver overheard someone say We Need To Talk About Kevin ?

So that’s where I get my ideas from….I could sit here and type out my current list, which stands at about 30, but hey, you might steal one 😉

Today’s prompt about sinking turned into a tory about a guy, in sales, who’s wife has left him and he’s been called to the bosses office as his figures are going down. Lots of options on how to end that depending on how nasty I’m feeling 😉 Tomorrow’s prompt is an emergency exit which sounds good 🙂

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24 thoughts on “Generating Titles

  1. I am bookmarking this post! These are such great ideas!! For me, titles are the hardest part of the writing process – I can punch out a short story in no time, but I’ll spend weeks thinking of title. My first novel was 3/4 through the first draft before I had a title, while the second is just over halfway and still untitled! Ahhhhh!

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  2. Another fab source of ideas. I’m boring and go with the theme of my book because I always assume it’s going to be changed. A friend of mine is a major punster and gets awesome titles that way. E.g. SUCKS AND BLOWS is about a vampire in a dentist’s office! It’s incredibly funny. If you’re into m/m fiction, check her out at: http://www.stormgrant.com/. Or just visit for her titles. Fun stuff!

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  3. Another way is to go to the mall and just watch the folk’s make you wonder just what they do how did they get that way and are they for real.. Always look then start writing Thanks for the input. Will

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  4. I would have gone for “another year closer” from this card, or a variation of. – I find titles fairly easy to come up with, and kind of fun. I think I would use your tips the the other way round, for a story prompt instead. (Well ok you made that point as well!).

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    • Yeah, you’re right, they could all be used as story prompts. Sometimes I come across an idea for a title and it just conjures up a complete story.

      Another Year Closer….I like that, I’m immediately asking myself another year closer to what? Good titles can hook a reader from the cover 😉

      xx

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  5. Titles always get me stumped. And I know that the title of my book is bound to change numerous times until it is final final finalized. So I go with something simple to keep me reigned in to the story until I finish developing the entire story before I go in for that obscure goal.

    Coming up with a title and then fitting a story to it is definitely a new way of looking at things. I think I’ll try that someday… Thanks!

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  6. You always have such great and fun ideas. I like how you make writing like a fun, exploratory experience. You’re a mom, too, so you understand how important that is. I have listened to people’s conversations too. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve spoken less and listen more. You’re right great ideas come out of other people’s mouths. When I interview my client, he will say something out of the blue that turns into a good description or line.
    I had not thought about titles. I was a journalist, and I still have to come up with titles for articles. I don’t like it. It has never been my thing. I like when I’m able to come up with a good title. In one article I wrote, a guy shot a toliet. His gun went off from his holster and he shot a toliet lid. I gave the headline title “Lids Up.” It was not a big story, but my editor and I never forgot the title.
    🙂

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  12. Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog. This is an excellent post. I have a hard time with titles. Sometimes I get lucky and a phrase with good rhythm will emerge, but most of the time it’s hard work. Thank you so much for this list of possible sources of inspiration!

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    • Hi Lillian 🙂

      And thanks for the reblog honey!

      I’m glad you found my ideas on where to find titles helpful. I just love using these techniques…I could spend all day just title hunting lol

      Xx

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