Mommy, Where Do Titles Come From?

Anton wanted one of us to go with that title, so I took it. Primarily because I feel compelled to give a top quality answer, and give it the serious consideration and the respect it deserves. So, gather around, shut up and sit on your freakin' quiet mats.

*sighs, lights up crack pipe (just to relax, nothing wrong with that)*

When a writer loves a story very much, like the way I love your mommy (yes. YOUR mommy), the writer thinks and thinks, sucks on pen caps, sometimes gets out of breath from all the strenuous thinking--sweat may be involved--and spits out words all over the top of the story's page. It can really be quite messy. Nine months later--give or take a week--a shiny new title is born.

Now, go take your naps while the grown ups talk titles.

Titles are a bitch, right? It seems like you can come up with a great title and then the story doesn't cooperate, or you've got a story you love and the title just won't pop into your head, or worse yet, onto the page.

I can't help you with the first dilemma--the story either shows its face or it doesn't--but once you've got yourself a decent story, you've got yourself a title. You just have to look for it.

Here's how...
1. Themes. Is there a predominant theme at work? Loss, grief, longing, revenge (oh, if it were only revenge), redemption? Can you work this theme into a title?

2. Character traits. Does your main character have some special trait that you can harvest for a snappy title? I'll bet they do.

3. Try a title generator like this one. Even if you come up with crappy titles, there might be something close to good. Even a little spark can catch fire.

4. Villains! Villains! Villains! They're a great resource for titling. Who you got? Can you elude to their dastardly scheme without giving away the plot? Then do it!

That's it. It's late. I'm tapped.

But, before I more thing...


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