Story Writing - What's in a Name?

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  1. cdub77 profile image81
    cdub77posted 7 years ago

    Thanks for all your informative replies to my last post about dialogue punctuation. It was very revealing and I learned some good perspectives.  Again, thanks.

    Here's my new question for the story writers out there:

    How do you come up with a title for your works?  I used to find that I had to write most of the work before I had a clue what the title was.  Now, sometimes I have titles that inspire works.  I feel like my relationship with the title of a work is evolving the more I write.

    Right now, to sum up where I am: sometimes I think strictly of expectations, as in I try to make my reader think the story is going to be one way and then play with that expectation.  I find the more I think about the title of the work from the reader's perspective, both in terms of a signifier of what is to come as well as a key to impart new meaning upon reflection after reading, the more satisfied I am, for the moment at least, with my titles.  If I can achieve a story where I've turned the meaning of the title on its head by the time it's over, I count that a great success.

    I love hearing other perspectives and techniques though, so please fill me in! The more different and/or thought-out your approach is, the more I'd like to know about it.

    Thanks for reading and sharing!


    1. wixor profile image60
      wixorposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I think the more thought and inspiration you can put into your writing, the better it will be - and that includes the title. I always quote my favourite guitarist, Robin Trower, "put as much emotion as you can into each and every note." (substitute "word", for "note")

  2. profile image0
    Wilfionposted 7 years ago

    I always find creating a title is far more difficult that writing the article itself.  However, sometimes, after writing the article, a title will jump out at me, maybe from a line used in it.  However, it is quite difficult to think of an original title.  I have had what I thought were wonderful unique titles, only to discover many articles online, with the same title. For instance, I once used the title "And So To Bed," for an article about the history of beds.  I then discovered this title all over the Internet.

    1. Tusitala Tom profile image64
      Tusitala Tomposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      It's unfortunate that with the introduction of Key Words we're so often tempted to go for catchy titles we hope will draw people to 'click' onto our work.   Gone are the days when we'd just open a book in a bookstore and let our eyes wander over the text here and there, ignoring the title or even the book cover itself.

      I must admit that I've poluted much of my own writing on Hubpages by wirting a piece and then editing it over a few times to ensure those keywords are in there.  Whether they're in the right places, or in the right density I don't know.   But I must be honest about this.   Key wordage is, in my opinion, stuffing up a great deal of wrting nowadays.

      1. Shadesbreath profile image84
        Shadesbreathposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Yeah, I have been tempted to keyword titles. I may whore out a subtitle on occasion after a piece has been released on Hubpages for a while, but pretty rarely. More often, I mock keyword strategies in titles, which, ironically sometimes pays pretty well.

        For fiction, never though. Which is why creative writing doesn't pay on HP. I still do it sometimes, but not much. Nobody's eyes are combing the shelves of HP for a catchy title. There are no shelves to peruse, and if there were, there'd be far too many volumes vomiting keywords to encourage anyone to try for very long.

        A handful of hubbers who I do pop in to read up on when I have time, I will skim for titles on their recent articles pages and pick which to read first based on that first glance appeal.

  3. 2uesday profile image80
    2uesdayposted 7 years ago

    Conflict and resolve are two frequently used and useful techniques for telling short stories.

  4. Captain Redbeard profile image60
    Captain Redbeardposted 7 years ago

    I think Titles are as important as the story themselves. I personally look at it as if I were naming my children. Sometimes the title doesn't seem to connect to the story at all until you have read the story and interpret it the same as I do. That is risky since no one can read the same story and get the exact same feeling from it, however sometimes I play to that tune.

    More often then not I try to pick a title that isn't necessarily catchy but in someway defines either a character, passage or key chapters. Hope this helps smile


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