Titles

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CharleeVale
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Titles

Post by CharleeVale » January 24th, 2012, 10:58 am

Ok, so I've known for a while now that I need to change the title of my WIP. But I'm having a hard time encompassing the mood of the book.

What process do you all choose to pick a title?

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MattLarkin
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Re: Titles

Post by MattLarkin » January 24th, 2012, 12:15 pm

Most of the time, it's actually something that comes to me early in the planning process. Something that encompasses the theme I'm going for. And with the title in mind, I may actually focus the book even more in that direction.
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Re: Titles

Post by dios4vida » January 24th, 2012, 12:28 pm

A lot of times I look for a particular phrase I use in the book that seems like either a summary of the mood or the crux of a major issue/theme. Those seem to be the best titles for me.

Then again, I can't for the life of me seem to find a good one for this book I'm on right now, so it doesn't work all the time.
Brenda :)

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Re: Titles

Post by writersink » January 24th, 2012, 12:34 pm

I mainly try to pick something that sums up what my novel is about. However, this is a real hard way of picking a title. I agree with ^the comment above^. I have no idea what to call this latest WIP. Try sleeping on it. Leave it untitled for the moment. Don't try to force it. The right name will come along in time, and then you'll wonder how you could have possibly thought it to be anything else.

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Re: Titles

Post by Sommer Leigh » January 24th, 2012, 2:36 pm

I'm terrible with titles. Terrible terrible terrible. Hate coming up with titles. HATE it. I'd rather outline a hundred different story ideas than come up with a title.

So I do a couple of things. I wait until most of the book is written and I reread what I've written looking for phrases or key words that I come back to or that really pop while I'm reading. I write all those down. Sometimes I can find the title right there in what I've written, but not usually. Then I poll the people I've allowed to read the story and ask them if any words or phrases jumped out at them. Then I sit and make a giant list of all the words I can think of that have to do with the setting/themes/plot. ANY word, even if it is ridiculous. Then I start playing a puzzle game of putting those words together to see what sounds great.

I usually just sort of stumble over the right set, but sometimes I make a list of possible titles and then let them marinate in my head for a month or two until I'm sure. Then I make sure no one else in my genre has used it or something like it.
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HillaryJ
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Re: Titles

Post by HillaryJ » January 24th, 2012, 3:17 pm

I usually draw up a list of themes, key phrases and words, or unique aspects of the characters/settings and then shift them around to try to find something that fits. I run lists of possibilities by my beta readers. It's amazing how people who have read the same words often focus on certain themes that I wasn't attuned to.

Good luck, Charlee!
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Re: Titles

Post by Gypson » January 24th, 2012, 3:43 pm

My titles highlight a central character, place, or conflict to the story. I realize that is a very vague-sounding response.

The books in my MG/YA fantasy series are each named for their plot. (ex. "The Search for the Golden Promise", "The Secret of William's Chain", etc.) I think this works well for the genre and age level.

My adult fantasy novel is titled after the house/bookshop where most of the characters live and, consequentially, most of the story takes place.

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MattLarkin
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Re: Titles

Post by MattLarkin » January 25th, 2012, 8:20 am

Sommer Leigh wrote:I'm terrible with titles. Terrible terrible terrible. Hate coming up with titles. HATE it. I'd rather outline a hundred different story ideas than come up with a title.

So I do a couple of things. I wait until most of the book is written and I reread what I've written looking for phrases or key words that I come back to or that really pop while I'm reading. I write all those down. Sometimes I can find the title right there in what I've written, but not usually. Then I poll the people I've allowed to read the story and ask them if any words or phrases jumped out at them. Then I sit and make a giant list of all the words I can think of that have to do with the setting/themes/plot. ANY word, even if it is ridiculous. Then I start playing a puzzle game of putting those words together to see what sounds great.

I usually just sort of stumble over the right set, but sometimes I make a list of possible titles and then let them marinate in my head for a month or two until I'm sure. Then I make sure no one else in my genre has used it or something like it.
Wow, Sommer! It's hard to imagine such a strong reaction to coming up with titles.

You could always use the classic, name it after a central character, place, or item in the story.
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Re: Titles

Post by Sommer Leigh » January 25th, 2012, 8:33 am

MattLarkin wrote:
Sommer Leigh wrote:I'm terrible with titles. Terrible terrible terrible. Hate coming up with titles. HATE it. I'd rather outline a hundred different story ideas than come up with a title.

So I do a couple of things. I wait until most of the book is written and I reread what I've written looking for phrases or key words that I come back to or that really pop while I'm reading. I write all those down. Sometimes I can find the title right there in what I've written, but not usually. Then I poll the people I've allowed to read the story and ask them if any words or phrases jumped out at them. Then I sit and make a giant list of all the words I can think of that have to do with the setting/themes/plot. ANY word, even if it is ridiculous. Then I start playing a puzzle game of putting those words together to see what sounds great.

I usually just sort of stumble over the right set, but sometimes I make a list of possible titles and then let them marinate in my head for a month or two until I'm sure. Then I make sure no one else in my genre has used it or something like it.
Wow, Sommer! It's hard to imagine such a strong reaction to coming up with titles.

You could always use the classic, name it after a central character, place, or item in the story.
Did I mention how much I hate coming up with titles? Is there a root canal I can get instead? If an editor ever asked me to come up with chapter titles, I'd quit.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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MattLarkin
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Re: Titles

Post by MattLarkin » January 25th, 2012, 9:20 am

Chapter 8: In Which Sommer Shares Her True Feelings on Titles
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dios4vida
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Re: Titles

Post by dios4vida » January 25th, 2012, 10:43 am

MattLarkin wrote:Chapter 8: In Which Sommer Shares Her True Feelings on Titles
Chapter 12: In Which Sommer Turns Her Ray Gun Upon the Innocents Asking for Titles
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: Titles

Post by Sommer Leigh » January 25th, 2012, 11:01 am

You guys sure know how to make a girl's violent tendancies feel special and loved. <3
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Quill
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Re: Titles

Post by Quill » January 25th, 2012, 11:05 am

Titles are the funnest part of writing, for me. I did name my chapter titles in my recently completed Middle Grade novel, twenty-four of them, and I'm actually proud of how they tell the story -- without giving it away -- just by themselves.

Titles just come to me. Or at least plenty of good choices from which to choose.

I'd say relax with it, anyone who has trouble finding a title. Let it come to you. Jot down ideas, even if they seem stupid. Take your time. There's always a right title lurking. The muse will help you find it.

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Mira
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Re: Titles

Post by Mira » January 26th, 2012, 5:19 pm

I have this weird thing, where I think of the Title FIRST, and then write to match the Title.

Sometimes it can take me years to write something that truly encompasses what I meant by the Title. Drives me alittle nuts, actually. :)

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Re: Titles

Post by dios4vida » January 27th, 2012, 11:31 am

Mira wrote:I have this weird thing, where I think of the Title FIRST, and then write to match the Title.
I actually did that with my last book - and it's the one with the best title, by far. I'm actually wishing I could do that more often, because the theme that stems from that title and permeates the book makes it my favorite.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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