Insert Title Here
Hello again! I’m here to give you another article about writing! If you didn’t
read my last one, “A Guide for Future NT Stars”, then I suggest you do, or at
least read some of it. If you don’t, you could probably get by, but it’s a good
starter article. By the way, I’m planning a nice series of Writing Tips for all
of you, which will come out faster with the approach and arrival of summertime.
Here’s the second one, then. So, let’s begin, shall we?
I recently had a person ask me about naming a story. Most people really don’t
think about the naming of a story beforehand, but it is a very good process
to get into. After all, the title of a story or article is usually the first
thing a person sees. The title is the thing that normally gets the person interested
in the first place. Of course there is the saying “Don’t judge a book by its
cover”, but still many people will be drawn to interesting and creative titles
rather than boring, bland, or overused ones. So I’m here to talk about the process
of story naming. Ready?
A commonly overused title is “So-and-so’s Quest” or “Quest for the *insert-item-here*
” Though it does tell some about your story, it’s been used so much that it
gets boring – not to say that story is boring or the person is a bad writer.
But let’s try to get a bit more creative, shall we? Another common title is
“So-and-so and the *insert-item-here*” This is almost a combination of the two
above examples. I’m not saying it’s wrong to use these – I’m only saying they’re
a bit overused and uncreative.
Sometimes a good title can come from a character’s name. While not altogether
creative, and telling you absolutely nothing about the story save that there
is a character called that, it is a common title.
Let’s get creative, then!
One of my favorite ways to create a title is simply to take the entire story
and try to choose one of my favorite quotes from it. Take for example my story,
“Will You Remember Me?” This title was created for obvious reasons (if you haven’t
read the story you won’t know what I mean). This is a pretty creative way to
title your story. Think of the funniest, most inspirational, most daring, or
even the most strange quote, and try using it as your title. It doesn’t even
have to be a dialogue (speaking) quote. Try part of your narration (author speaking),
meaning part of the story where the characters aren’t speaking. It is one of
the most creative ways, don’t you think? It may work after all!
Another creative way is to summarize your story in a few words. What happens
to your characters? What do they do? Let’s say your story is a sea adventure.
How about titles that talk of sea-life? “Voyage Across the *insert-title-here*”
can be an interesting, creative title. Keep thinking about it. You never know
what might pop into your mind!
Yet another way is to take your favorite scene in a story, or perhaps even
the climax, and summarize it to two to six words. “Battle for the *insert-item-here*”
, “Where the *something* Is,” etc. etc. Be creative. Expand your possibilities.
Rewrite your ideas. Did you know the original title for “The Chronicles of Knight:
The Knight Within” was “To Become a Knight”?
Riddles – one of the most creative ways is to speak in riddles. What I mean
is to use homophones. Homophones are two or more words, such as Knight and Night,
that are pronounced the same but have different meanings and even different
spellings. The best example is a word that can be both a character’s name and
an object, like raven, kitty, or others. Even last names work, like brooks.
Let’s say the main character is going to go and greet the Brooks family. “Over
to the Brooks” might be a creative title you can create. It could mean over
to the Brooks family, or over to the brooks (as in a stream). There are literally
thousands of different homophones you can use. Try searching for “homophones”
on the internet.
Another way to create a title would be to take a major character (good or bad)
and use their name or title as the title for your story. Let’s say you have
a warrior knight. Perhaps you could call it “The Warrior Knight” or something
else that the character is called. How about a story about Darigan? “King of
the Citadel” (or lord, whichever you choose). “Bad guys” can also be used: “Leader
of the Thieves” (if you don’t know who that is, then I suggest you pay better
attention to plotlines). The list could go on – it depends on your characters.
Then again, you could always use a description of your character – remember
to keep it short. “The Silver Draik”, “Those Sad, Grey Eyes”, you name it. Practically
anything that describes your character can be used! “The Greatest of All Thieves”,
anything. It’s your story, so you should be able to name it well.
Take the above two suggestions and apply them to a group of characters – it's
another way you could name your story. Take the Council in Tale II of my Knight
Chronicles. “The Royal Council of Meridell” might be a good title if I were
to ever write a tale about it. “Decisions for the Land” could be another. The
list goes on.
One of the neatest ways to grab someone’s attention is to use a lesser-known
language or even a dead one to supply you with your title. Try typing “free
online English to *insert-language-here* translator”. Sometimes a free, online
one will come up. Sometimes you won’t be so lucky. By using the translator,
though, you can create an interesting, unique title. Let’s say you wanted to
call your story “Brightest of Days”. Sounds a bit boring? Try translating it
to Latin (that’s a dead language). “Sudus Interdiu” sounds a bit better, eh?
Of course, it would be a good idea to explain what the title means somewhere
in your story. It isn’t a good idea just to say “I got it off a translator site.”
How about “he knew that phrase, sudus interdiu, the brightest of days…” Try
it. You may like it.
Of course there are many other ways to name your story – these are just a few
suggestions if you’re having a hard time. The best thing you can do is keep
re-wording and re-phrasing your title until it is THE title. Like I said, The
Knight Within was originally “To Become a Knight”. I know there are some who
began reading that story because the title “The Chronicles of Knight: The Knight
Within” grabbed their attention. Don’t just settle for a title because you can’t
think of anything. Keep trying. It’ll come to you.
Of course, you can just ignore all I just said and create a title that has
nothing to do with the story… People will look at you weird when you have something
called “Pretty Flowers” talking about the Rubbish Dump. But it’s your story.
I’m only here to lead, if you want to follow a ways. Again, I’m off to write
another story (basically, that’s all I do). If you are still reading this, then
I advise that you open Word (or your notebook) and continue writing your story.
Off! Scurry! Write a tale worth reading, with a title fit to catch even the
most fleeting of eyes!