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How do you get titles?

Discussion in 'Writer's Lounge' started by tirial, June 28, 2018.

  1. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire Scribe

    The bane of my writing life is titles. I know some people start with the title, but I can find myself sitting staring at a complete 60K manuscript, all edited and polished, that's taken weeks of my life to write, and still have no idea what to call it!

    Do you come up with titles first, second, or get stuck on them? It's a real problem with putting stories online as the first thing most sites want is a title and that's the last thing I can ever come up with. (Camp Nano, I am looking at you!)
  2. Zelda

    Zelda Member

    Oh, I hate that about Nano. I'm terrible at coming up with titles too. I can't think of a single instance when the title came to me first. If only it was that easy! I typically browse several (hundred) titles in my genre and wait for inspiration to hit me. It's not the best method.
  3. PageTurner

    PageTurner Member

    Titles are the absolute worst sometimes. It's a shame that they are the first thing a potential reader will see. When I'm proofreading, I'll try and take note of any noteworthy or unique phrases that could potentially be used as a title. If that doesn't work, I'll try and think of something in the "Who? What? When? Where?" variety. It's hard to come up with something eye-catching with that system though.
  4. Gemini

    Gemini Member

    I can never come up with a title until I write the majority of whatever I'm working on. I usually just put "Project X" into those kinds of things and edit it later on. I wish I had some kind of magical system that worked for coming up with titles, but it usually just takes a lot of brainstorming sessions.
  5. Kindler

    Kindler Active Member

    Random google searches until I hit on something I like, or possibly title generators to try and give some inspiration.

    It seems to be a common thing that naming something is always difficult.
  6. Zelda

    Zelda Member

    Indeed. I wonder how many people actually start with the title and how many of those people end up wanting to change the title at some point.

    Title generators are a good idea.

    I like your idea too, @PageTurner. However, I've seen authors make the mistake of repeating that "phrase" several times because, for some reason, they feel like they have to.
  7. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    So the answer is "with great difficulty" then;)?
  8. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire Scribe

    It does seem to be rather unanimous, so yes...::rofl:: (See, I'm learning to speak "Jessica")
  9. penumbra

    penumbra Member

    Pretty much. I'm starting to wonder if people who come up with the titles first actually exist.

    Do you all usually end up with a title that you really love or just something that you can live with?
  10. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire Scribe

    Normally something I can live with.

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