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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 10/5/2008 12:47 AM PDT
The phrase was 'he lived, he died." If I wasn't very clear. Sorry!
Posted: 10/5/2008 12:46 AM PDT
I suppose one thing that sticks in my mind that I use often but not always (who am I kidding, I am an unknown author that titles when a work is complete and in my eyes it is never done...lol) To the point the crowd yells!
There is a phrase I love until the end of time. I will start with the begining and in the end you will see the phrase and it's importance.
A biography about a man who was born in 1982, Sir Robbert Lake. He lived in NewCastle, Somewhere and was the father of three beautiful children raised in a traditional fashion. He died on October 9, 2008. (what a life span!)
So here is what you do. CUT it. Go through the wording and cut words that are useless. The, Of, and are my favorites to cut.
Biography about a man born 1982, Sir Robbert Lake. He lived in Newcastle, Somewhere, was father of three beautiful children raised a traditional fashion. He died October 9, 2008.
I am going to skip to the point because this process can take time. You cut and cut and cut. Determine how you would describe your story as best you can, using only the most important facts.
Biography is not important, you are reading that, CUT. Where he lived does not matter in comparison to his children, CUT, Traditional Fashion pales compared to his death. CUT. Dates do not really have importance, CUT
So you cut and you cut and you cut and you get a the very discription. All you get in the end is the bare bones most important part of the whole thing.
Sir Robbert Lake. He lived. He died.
That is it. Does it make a very interesting book? For a biography...it could. It is straight to the point. Anyone picking up the book knows who it is of and what it is of. He lived and died, this book is about Lake.
Perhaps I am just mad. I don't recall where I heard this but I love it. It works better in other-than-biography. Biographies are boring to begin with, no? So cut and cut and cut, and get to the real meat and potatos of your story. What is more important?
That an elf had a horse ride to a village, or that he rescued fire from teh depth of hell and created an imbalanced world which rejoiced at the superiority of good...cut down to...Rescued from Hell or..Imbalance & Supriority
Okay. I doubt this was helpful. i feel I rambled on. Forgive me. good luck with your titles!!
Posted: 9/19/2008 7:46 AM PDT
The one kind of title I'm getting really sick of? "The Someone's Noun." Especially when it's "The Someone's Daughter."
I'm also not crazy about "Verbing the Noun."
Posted: 9/17/2008 12:34 AM PDT
I'm the moment of inspiration kind. To start with my novel just had chapter 1, chapter 2 but about midway through the project it all suddenly became clear and I went through and gave them all chapters. As to titles for works normally I think about what I want the work to be and read over my outlines and ideas until I get hit with a flash. Of course, sometimes my flash stinks (snap, crackle being a very recent example of bad titles). I do like titles to be descriptive and 'one hundred years of solitude' is one of my favourites, but I really hate titles that are wordy just for the sake of being wordy.
Posted: 9/16/2008 1:47 PM PDT
I really like long titles-- One Hundred Years of Solitude-- and I also like titles that reference other literary works. "Something Wicked This Way Comes," for instance, is a line from MacBeth.
Posted: 9/16/2008 12:06 PM PDT
Look at a list of famous books and determine why they have the titles they do. With some it's a character, with others it's the location. Some books use a portion or whole of a famous phrase or song that seem relevant.
This list is a good help
Posted: 9/16/2008 11:16 AM PDT
I like the write the story first with no title, or a working title, and then when the story is done, pick a memorable or catchy sentence or phrase from within the story. Titles like this tend to be unique and quirky, and it adds a cool "A-ha!" moment when the reader gets to the title phrase in the story.
Other writers like to do this, too -- Raymond Carver's "What We Talk about When We Talk about Love" comes to mind.
I never title chapters within longer works. It seems old-fashioned, and more suited to children's books -- though I think it could be done really originally and well.
Posted: 9/16/2008 8:39 AM PDT
Grammar and flow and details, those things I have covered. My problem is coming up with the perfect titles for projects and chapters. Does anybody have any suggestions or hints as to what I can do to come up with titles that will capture attention and stick in the memory?