Wednesday, June 6, 2018

IWSG and Titles Are Hard!

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

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June 6 question - What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

There is absolutely no contest with this answer!


Titles are SO HARD!!!!

I have fun with character names, but titles drive me absolutely batty!

I make lists.
The lists are full of cheesy, terrible titles.
I skim the story searching for The Phrase that will become the title.
I write down themes and big ideas.
I think about settings.
I play with character names.
I search for appropriate idioms.
I whimper.

Titles are hard.

Strangely, the title for my short story UNTIL RELEASE was easy because it was so obvious. Once you've read the story, you'll probably see why - the words Until Release come up a lot!

If only titles were all that easy!

How about you? Do titles make you weep too?

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PS - UNTIL RELEASE is available now in the Dancing Lemur Press anthology Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime.

Amazon.            B&N.             Kobo.            iTunes.      
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45 comments:

  1. I feel the same way. Titles just suck. How do you sum up a whole story in just a couple words? And make it sound intriguing?

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  2. I spend a lot of time on titles. :( I freaked out the other day because phrasehq.com is apparently closing down. Other sites that have helped me in the past are https://onym.co/ and https://puns.samueltaylor.org/ (although I know we have different genres).

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  3. I'm not sure why, but both come easy to me. Even chapter titles. I often wonder if I shouldn't title my chapters, but - for me - titling the chapters gives me direction and focus. I think that's what it is with titles and character names, too.

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    1. I love books with clever or quirky or intriguing or fun chapter titles!!! Can't do them, but I love them :)

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  4. Until Release was the perfect title for that story. See, you can do it.

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    1. LOL - yep - that's ONE in the win column :)

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  5. Naming characters is easy, until one comes to me with a name attached that I'd rather not use and refuses to let me change it. Titles make me crazy. Sometimes it will be right there, perfect and ready to go. Other times, nothing works.

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    1. Yes!!! I've had stubborn characters like that as well - they should learn to be more flexible!

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  6. I like to come up with titles. I struggle with names!!! :)

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  7. It sounds like you do all the right things to discover the right title, though. Sometimes, we do need to look for repeated phrases in our stories. If we find one, I think it's our muse (or a deeper part of ourselves) knowing the title before we do. ;)

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    1. That's very true. I think the subconscious can be very powerful!!!

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  8. Once upon a long time back titles made me cry, but not anymore :)

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  9. Your process is priceless! Titles come easy for me, it's the name game that ties me up.

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  10. Titles come easier for me. Then again, maybe that just means I'm not good at coming up with good titles and don't know it yet. Ignorance can be bliss.

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  11. I find characters' names harder. In fact, the next two book ideas I have, I know the titles but not a single character's name. Heh.

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    1. LOL - that's fun! Names are important too - hope you find the right ones soon!

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  12. Shall I let you in on one of my secrets? I go to Goodreads and search my potential title names to see what pops up. If you can land something truly unique that works with your story, you're ahead of the game.

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  13. The obvious ones are sometime the best. At the very least, we avoid a struggle until next time. ;-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  14. Yes, titles are super hard!
    Glad you found the right one for Until Release! :)

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  15. I have 2-3 stories to read before I get to yours. I'm looking forward to it :)

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    1. Yay! My story is in excellent company!! :)

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  16. I'm finding titles are not that hard, they tend to present themselves to me at some point in the drafting process. Most of my character names sound too much like they stepped out of mid-1970s suburban America.

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    1. I WISH titles popped up like that! I save draft by character names :)
      Nothing wrong with suburban 70s! :P

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    2. I think this touches on an issue for me--I don't want all my characters to be white middle-American types, and that means thinking about names.

      Given how much trouble we had naming our 2 sons, I shouldn't be surprised that characters can be challenging. What do people do when they have 12 kids??

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    3. 2 was enough for me too!!! Maybe they go alphabetically like 7 Brides for 7 Brothers! :)

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  17. I like your process for finding the title. I'm going to borrow it :)

    The other thing I do is get my top candidates--then ask other people to vote, or even to suggest others, though that's hard unless they are beta readers :) But just asking which one makes people want to read the story is helpful.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca - and good idea. I've never asked around before!

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  18. Hi Jemi,

    We are quite alike I have a blast with names and get clever. Example: I have a character in Salem's Daughters based in southern Michigan (where I grew up) named Joseph Meicigama who was a native American (Chippewa) shaman and crazy stuff happens. The last name Meicigama is the name the Chippewas called the area of Michigan.

    So yeah I like to have a lot of fun with character names.

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  19. I do okay with both. It is a process. Character creation is one of my fave parts but they must have name to make the story live.

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  20. UNTIL RELEASE is the perfect title for your story.

    One of our IWSG participants pointed out an important fact, that names should also reflect the culture/geographical location/era of the story. She said that she researches time, place, and culture that the character comes from, which will result in the best possible name. Makes sense.

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  21. Sounds like you go about finding the right title the right way. But i totally agree with you: They are HARD!!!

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  22. Yes, titles are hard to agree on!

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  23. Titles can be difficult, for sure! It sometimes takes me months to come up with a proper one. Glad Until Release managed to come to you easily, at the very least!

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  24. I'm actually a title junkie. I love the quest for the perfect title. Usually I employ friends, wine, and a dry erase board in the hunt.

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  25. I had two ideas for the title of my book. "Essential Elements" or "Fractions of Existence." The second one came from the prologue, which I later cut. I discarded the other one because it made three beta readers assume certain things about my characters and they then told me I had broken the rules of what my characters were. (Like "vampires don't sparkle," but imagine if Twilight didn't actually have vampires. Or "cows are supposed to say moo," except it's a herd of bison instead of bovines. I didn't break the rules of what my characters actually are, but the wrong title caused my beta readers assume something incorrectly.)

    The chapter titles, however, that was easier. I just used something from each chapter. A few words or a line that was either fun or important.

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