How Do You Name Your Story?

  • Party City Spook

    Party City Spook (150)

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    How do you pick the title of the story when you're going to post it? Do you do take the song lyric route? Do you take the a saying and mix it up? Or just contemplate it for awhile?

    I usually do the contemplation route, but right now it isn't working for me. Confused
    I'm at a total loss.
    January 16th, 2012 at 09:13pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    Sometimes it just comes to me. I very very rarely use song lyrics. I'm more likely to take a phrase from the story or something that sums up the story without being in it. Nine times out of ten, it comes to me. Other times I have to brainstorm. Brainstorming tends to lead me to Wikipedia.
    January 16th, 2012 at 11:52pm
  • southpaw

    southpaw (565)

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    Most of the time it just randomly pops into my head even before I outline it. It rarely has to do with the story directly, but sometimes it's referenced within the story when somebody says it in dialogue. It normally has a deeper meaning and ties to the characters' situations on a level past the surface. I hardly ever go with song lyrics unless I'm writing a oneshot, and even then I usually just use a quote from the story for the title.

    I like to use titles that make the reader go "Ohhhhh, that's why it's called that..." tehe
    January 17th, 2012 at 12:35am
  • spacejunkie

    spacejunkie (100)

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    My titles are original, not borrowed from songs or other literature (although I'll often do stories where each chapter title is parodying or referencing something, when there's a pattern to the things being referenced).

    Generally, I look at the overarching theme of the story, and think of something snappy relating to that (eg. Out of Electronica, The Macabre Tales of Young Edgar, Ninety Days of Water, Salt, Roast, Sevenfold). Sometimes, my story titles are based on things the characters say, which encapsulate a theme (The Sea Breathes, No Room For Ghosts). Sometimes, though, I just tell it like it is (The Scarecrow's Wife, The Masquerade, Desolation Row).

    I occasionally think of the story title before I write, but generally, I make it up when I've got a prototype first chapter. I never wait until a story is mostly finished to decide what it's essentially about.
    January 17th, 2012 at 03:25am
  • Party City Spook

    Party City Spook (150)

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    I agree with most of the comments. I just had to let snappy things come to me.

    I usually don't read stories that have really long song lyrics or quotes in the title. It's kind of a turn off for me.
    January 18th, 2012 at 12:16am
  • fooleish

    fooleish (205)

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    I'm a lyric user all the way. Con Occasionally, I branch out into quotes. I have a lot of respect and admiration for the people who can come up with their own titles but I'm really not one of them. I don't see anything wrong with using other people's words it as long as they're relevant and you quote the original source, which I always (mostly, sometimes I forget tehe) do.
    January 18th, 2012 at 08:58pm
  • Rocket Queen

    Rocket Queen (405)

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    I usually find it difficult to name my stories. They don't come to me too easily and I often spend hours or even days agonizing over what my story should be called. I never ever go the route of naming my story after a song title because I feel more accomplished when making up my own.

    Oftentimes I'll need to write a few chapters just to get a feel of the tone. From there, it can lead to a story title but other times it will take me a while.
    January 19th, 2012 at 09:05am
  • ThePiesEndure

    ThePiesEndure (115)

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    Titles don't come easy to me, but I sometimes use phrases from songs, poems or one or two words that describe the main theme of a story. I don't usually title my stories until I've written the first chapter, and then sometimes the title changes along the way unless it's a one-shot. Then I usually stick with the one title.
    March 14th, 2012 at 09:18am
  • What's in a name?

    What's in a name? (100)

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    I always have a working title (which always is utter bullshit as far as titles go x]) and half of the time I just know what the story should be called. At other times I brainstorm and just come up with a bunch of possible titles and sooner or later I will find one that fits.

    Normally my titles are only one word up to three words. I have longer ones but I don't really like long titles.

    I do come up with basically all titles on my own. I don't use lyrics, other stories or poems or anything of that sort, except for three titles;
    Lasciate Ogne Speranza, Voi Ch'intrate is from Divina Commedia and it's what's written on Inferno's entrance in Canto 3 line 9 (translates as "All hope abandon ye who enter here").
    What Little We Know is from the lyrics Drive and At Pride's Expense is from What Katie Said, both songs by The Matches. I used that part from Drive because that song suits the story but "What Katie Said" doesn't really have a connection with that particular story (other than the story being a The Matches fan-fic) but I just really love that line.
    March 14th, 2012 at 03:17pm
  • aubs

    aubs (420)

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    I usually come up with a title either before planning, which leads me into thinking of a story to go with the title, or it comes to me while I'm planning a story. I don't usually go for song lyrics or titles because none of the song lyrics fit my stories.
    March 14th, 2012 at 07:06pm
  • amaranthine.

    amaranthine. (155)

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    I normally come up with a working title, which is just something that roughly fits the themes of the story, and usually, sometime during my writing, a title just pops into my head. Sometimes I have to think a little harder, but I've never actually finished a story without having a title that I like.

    My favourite titles are the ones that encapsulate the greater themes of the novel. I think my title that I like the most is Storms in Utopia because it captures the overall theme of a supposedly utopian (but actually dystopian) world, and because the oxymoron makes it sound dramatic and poetic. Usually, though, I'm pretty awful at titles - I often just name them after a particular character/place/thing that appears in the story.
    September 9th, 2012 at 12:59pm
  • Fantasy Writer Hina

    Fantasy Writer Hina (885)

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    I usually look at my overall plot and look up a word that special meaning for the story in a dictionary or something. :)
    September 9th, 2012 at 07:55pm
  • CaesarSalad

    CaesarSalad (105)

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    I typically just think of what the plot of the story and main point of it. Then somehow derive a short, sweet, and simple title from that. I don't like anything too long as I feel it's a tad bit distracting to have a title longer then 4 words. ( That was a random number, but makes sense after thinking about it. )
    September 10th, 2012 at 05:30am
  • hephaestus

    hephaestus (1155)

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    For me, a title is what spawns my story idea. I come up with a catchy title- and then the story snaps into place. If that isn't the case, I try and pick a title that has something to do with the story or is an idiom for something in the story or is just clever. I try to stay away from song lyrics and titles (though I have one like that) because if it were to be published, the title would have to change due to copyright laws, right?
    September 10th, 2012 at 04:35pm
  • nearly witches.

    nearly witches. (15230)

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    I always like to have one word that sums up my story, and I either use that in the end as my title, or I try and build around it, or take inspiration from it. I also always try to have a working title, something which is usually quite simple, like 'China Doll' or 'WWII Diaries'. Sometimes even having a working title to base everything off helps. I find it does, especially if I'm struggling.

    On the song titles front, I used to use them all the time, but then I felt it kinda saps creativity a bit. Then again, I will use them if I'm at a complete loss now :')
    September 13th, 2012 at 10:50pm
  • chai latte

    chai latte (225)

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    Some titles of stories I have posted are Empty Garden, Gaunt, Tomorrow Will Be Better, Wishbone, and Spineless. I'd say I'm pretty decent with titles.

    I try to think of a word or phrase that is pertinent to the story without being obvious, something that speaks to the general theme and tone, something eye-catching but not ridic. I tend to like titles that are very vague. Usually I'll come up with a list of at least three titles then I'll pick which one I like the best and/or is the most fitting. Titles usually come very easily to me because I love coming up with them; the hard part is choosing which I like best.

    I've never used a song title or anything like that. I do have one story (Until the Execution's Over) where the title comes from the lyric, "so won't you hold me closer / just one more minute / until the execution's over,", which is one of my favorite songs by my favorite band and I thought the line was so perfectly fitting; it was the title. I couldn't have come up with anything better on my own.
    September 13th, 2012 at 11:14pm
  • Fandango

    Fandango (775)

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    It is the most difficult thing for me to do. I hate it. I wish there was a title generator that just summed up your story in four words. Most of the time I end up with lines from songs/the story that I actually hate.

    I don't think I like a single story title of mine Shifty
    October 2nd, 2012 at 09:53am
  • swell

    swell (150)

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    I hate choosing titles, because mine seem so bland to others out there. Sometimes I listen to songs and pick out a word I think is unique or fitting to the story, but usually I write my summary and from there, the word or a phrase in there is the perfect title for my story.
    October 13th, 2012 at 08:53am
  • Chaos Walking

    Chaos Walking (255)

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    How do I choose titles? Terribly. They're usually a bit too blunt, or a song title that's too close to the plot of the story. My story Men Don't Cry was basically named after the book Boys Don't Cry. The Things That Matter isn't catchy, and was very to the point, which I don't like. I guess my best title is Freedom Blooming, mostly because it relates to the story, but not too directly. There's also some reading into the title when you think about how the main character is called Dahlia.

    Basically, I think on my feet with titles. Sometimes a good one comes to me (very rarely), other times it's not that good and I don't think I'd be able to come up with something good if I sat there for hours mulling over words. At the end of the day, unless the title is extremely bad, it's not going to completely put people off clicking on it.
    October 13th, 2012 at 11:22am
  • daisyfairy

    daisyfairy (495)

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    Song lyrics, almost exclusively. Sometimes I have just simple words that match the story, like Lucid (a story about a dream), and Unchlorinated (a story about a someone attempting to drown a girl). I like naming stories that way but more often lyrics are the easier route, because I tend to listen to one song on repeat whilst writing a one shot. So I'll pick a lyric from that song as a title.

    The titles are never really long though, Pass the World, Queen of the World, Sugar Pink, etc. Also, the majority of what I post on here are one shots that are just writing practice, so I don't see that it matters much. I Wrote the Sky is a song lyric, but as I continue to write it, it may get a name change. Although I am very attached to that name.

    And it's not like there's anything heinous or unprofessional about having quotes as titles. The Fault in Our Stars, for example, is a paraphrased quote, and there are many more.
    October 14th, 2012 at 01:17am