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 πŸ™‚ 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
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.


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 πŸ˜‰

1. Lines from poetry.


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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ Tomorrow’s prompt is an emergency exit which sounds good πŸ™‚

The Naming Game

I’ve had this post in my draft folder for a couple of days, and yesterday morning, I sat, with my cup of tea (every morning I read other peoples blog posts while I drink my first tea of the day lol) and discovered that a fellow blogger was talking about exactly the same thing…. spooky!

Check out journeyofjordannaeast where she talks about the struggles of naming characters πŸ™‚

Anyway, as most of my regular readers will know, I do a prompt a day, a short story or the start of one. So everyday I’m trying to come up with names for characters. Every couple of weeks I sit and dedicate a whole page in my notebook to ‘Name Ideas’ so I’m always on the look out for methods, tips and resources πŸ™‚

So here are some ways/places I get my character names from:

1. The credits on a film I’ve just watched. (I’ve been known to play the end credits frame by frame before now lol).

2. Books on quotations. I’m currently using a battered old copy of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations that I picked up in a charity shop for a quid πŸ™‚


3. Wikipedia which is a great source. Say I needed the name for a male character of a certain age who comes from Brazil. Search for the Brazilian football team and bobs your uncle! (English version of hey presto lol) You have a list of all the players πŸ™‚


4. One of my absolute favourites…..any excuse obviously lol…..FaceBook! If you’re the member of any groups, check out the members list, you can usually see how old people are from their photo’s. Or if you have a friend (or family member) who has millions of friends (like my daughter who I think has about 800), check out their friends list.

5. Here in the UK a lot of our local papers have a Births, Deaths & Marriages section. Can be quite useful as you will know exact ages (as too can be the reporters names in the same paper).

6. Stuck for a surname? Google Maps πŸ™‚ Pick a town, city, place…..road/street names are excellent for surnames. Or even a paper map (they do still exist you know lol)


My favourites from this one: Green – Ridley – Addington – Hartley – Cliffe – Halling and of course Rochester (hasn’t that one already been used? Lol)

7. And finally, name generators online. I don’t often need to use these sites, but if I do, my favourite is Seventh Sanctum which has loads of links to creativity generators.

Obviously you can use baby name books, but I find the modern ones hard because a name that is listed may have only been in existence for a few years. No good if trying to name a 45 year old.

One final thing about using real peoples names>;;>;;>;;>;;>;;>;; When I use FaceBook for name ideas I’m very careful to mix up surnames with first names. I don’t ever use their first name and surname combined. That could get you in a lot of hot water. But, if you think about it, whatever name you choose there is bound to be someone out there who has that exact combination of first and second name.

One last tip…..make sure all your characters names all start with different letters and don’t sound the same. Your reader will be way confused. I recently read a story where a dog was called Taylor and the baby was Tyler. I had to re-read a whole section as I thought it was still talking about the dog, and wondered what it was doing in a cot πŸ˜‰

So how do you come up with your characters names? I would love to hear yor ideas/tips and resources.

Yesterday’s prompt was write about fruit flesh. Yuk, that just sounds wrong! lol. I know it is flesh, but….. Lol. Anyway, I came up with a sweet little story about a girl on a bench eating a pear. An old man sits down and chats and it turns out he’s a retired market stall holder (his son has taken over the business) who use to sell fruit and vege. That’s as far as I got, but I’m thinking there’s a romance there, especially as the son is a hunky barrow boy *sniggers*
Today’s prompt is this is how lonesome feels which is already depressing me and I haven’t even started writing yet lol


Prompted by an email blog update from Sue Healey a couple of days ago, i decided to do some Freewriting.

I remember when I did The Artists Way, the first time….the idea of doing 3 pages of Morning Pages every day was terrifying. I soon got into the swing, but unfortunately it just turned into a massive rant everyday, and which is why, I no longer keep a personal journal.

So Tuesday morning, I sat outside a Costa Coffee shop, and wrote the following in my notebook:

*****I’m sat here, outside Costa, with a latte in February, wanting to take my coat off. It’s the same colour purple as the ink in my pen. There are a group of rowdy workmen, about 6 of them, smoking their fags and drinking from their takeaway coffee cups. It’s not exactly what I’d call an inspiring atmosphere, but still. I may be able to finish my daydreaming story. Perhaps she runs off with a rowdy workman *snigger*

The sky is completely grey, not a cloud in sight, and matches perfectly with the paving slabs beneath my feet. In fact, the building itself seems to merge with the sky as that too is a depressing shade of grey. I can’t wait for the summer, to walk around in t shirts and feel the sun on my face. Although, my garden is a mess. Completely unusable, neglected for several years I have to confess. I guess it sets the tone for the rest of the house….neglected. There’s always something else to do though. The garden is the last item of priority on my endless list.

I’ve been food shopping and now I’m waiting for my husband so that we can have lunch. It was his suggestion that he meet me, perhaps he just needs a break. It’s nice to get out, rather than stare at the same 4 walls day in day out. I get soooo bored, and yes, I know…..I could do the garden lol*****

Ok, exactly what did I learn? Or rather, what could I use in my writing? Hmmmmm…..the only things that really stand out as being worth something are the images of the building blending into the sky and the overgrown garden.

Do you ever Free Write, and if you do, does it help? Do you end up using things in your fiction writing?


Isn’t it funny…..there was me talking about happiness yesterday and then I discover Bridget’s beautiful post on happiness….it certainly made me smile πŸ™‚

Oh and by the way *clears throat* I now have 7 Out There’s!!!!!! πŸ™‚

Yesterday’s prompt about the bridge inspired a story about a young girl who’s father has been rushed to hospital….only, she hasn’t seen him for 2 years (I was going down the lines of building bridges then crossing them). I don’t know what today’s prompt is. I’m upstairs in bed, my notebook is downstairs.

As Jack Bauer would say “Damn It!” (sorry, hubby is working his way through all 8 seasons of 24) lol πŸ™‚