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Creative Story Titles Can Give You Good Story Ideas

Updated on April 01, 2014

46 Story Titles / 46 Good Story Ideas

As writers we know that good story ideas can be hard to come by, but story titles may be just what you need to inspire your next masterpiece. All you have to do is sit down and make out a list, or better yet consult the list that you keep in your writer's notebook.

Every author knows that the key to finishing a great novel or script is to give it a great title; the name can make all the difference in the world, right? What many writers overlook is that good titles can also be a great starting place; a place where characters and worlds start to take form in your mind. The next time you're having problems with your creative writing, try coming up with some story titles - you may just find your next great story in one of them.

This lens will show you examples of what I'm talking about. Feel free to use any of the titles or short story ideas you find interesting. After all, us real writers know that coming up with an idea is easy - developing it into a story is what's hard. What would really pay off for you in the future, however, is to start your own list.

Above image courtesy of Santi Siri / flickr.

How Do You Come Up With Good Story Ideas And Titles?

One simple answer is by using the dictionary. Randomly open it and choose a word; now write a story about that word. You just might have a suitable title as well.

Artwork below courtesy of Kjirstin Bentson / flickr.

fairy-tale-illustration
fairy-tale-illustration

What kind of stories do you like?

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Fish Stories - 12 x 8 in. Tin Sign

Buy for $12.99

pulp-fiction-art
pulp-fiction-art

Story Titles And Partially Developed Storylines

Being creative is hard work.

I got each one of these story ideas by looking at (and thinking about) the titles. Where did I get the story titles? From a very long list that I've been keeping for years. Anytime I hear or see something that may make an interesting title, I simple jot it down.

1-If I Were Batman: Someone decides to bring their love of comics into reality.

2-Stealing From Killers: A woman steals the wrong thing from the wrong person.

3-Beginner's Luck: The story of a guy who makes a fortune off of his very first painting.

4-A Bit of Nudity: A nudist colony gets a visit from a very famous celebrity.

5-Letter From Heaven: A wife gets a lengthy letter from her deceased husband about his first month in Heaven.

6-5 Reasons Death Doesn't Suck: A recently deceased teenager discovers that there is life after death and you can do a lot more when dead than when alive.

7-Dying Wishes: A family goes on a road trip with their cancer-stricken child to grant as many wishes as they can.

8-Lunatic Friends: A guy gets a crush on a wannabe serial killer.

9-Job Security: People learn of a possible downsizing and they all start competing to prove their worth to the company, often with hilarious results.

10-The Beauty of Ugliness: A very unattractive person is also the most popular because of their actions.

11-Good Story Ideas: A young author makes a wish to have better story ideas while blowing out a birthday candle. The wish comes true and after filling up over 1100 notebooks, he goes insane.

12-The Itch: A person hard up for money tries an experimental drug that has a very aggravating side effect. The itching eventually begins to impact his side hobby - vigilantism.

13-The Third Eye Recedes: A well known psychic begins to realize that her powers are fading away. She decides to help a small town police force track down a serial killer one last time in spite of this fact.

14-The Oddest Job: A person is hired as a bellhop in an extremely haunted hotel. Hilarity ensues.

15-The Rise of Madison Walker: A guy comes out of nowhere to become the leader of a very powerful country.

Coming Up With Ideas Isn't That Hard - Developing good story ideas is the hard part.

Whether you're looking for good story ideas, cool story titles or ways to kill off a character most writers seem to turn to books as a source for inspiration in their creative writing. This action is popular for a reason - it works. Where else can you casually peruse the written word and let ideas form freely in your mind. Some might say offer up the internet as an answer, but I've never got rich ideas from the Web like I do from books or magazines.

Coming Up With Good Story Ideas For Your Screenplay

optimus-prime-toy
optimus-prime-toy

Children's Story Ideas

Every idea came from the story title listed.

16-The Wishing Table: A toddler finds a very special table and causes everyone involved it her life to become a lot more interesting.

17-Gumdrops: A child obsession with candy changes their world - literally.

18-Where Creatures Roam: A brother and sister find a secret doorway where the creatures of imagination roam free.

19-Wild Animals I Have Known: A boy recalls his trip to a national park.

20-10 Reasons I Believe In Santa: A self-explanatory short story idea.

21-When the Hen Attacks: Someone finds out that you shouldn't try to pet baby chicks when mama is around.

22-My Blue Squirrel: A boy rescues a squirrel that has fallen into a bucket of blue paint.

23-Secrets of the Hive: A young girl is given the opportunity to visit a beehive.

24-Old Bugs: The oldest living praying mantis in existence visits a young boy to ask a favor.

25-The Twilight Creatures: A young child is playing in just the right place at just the right time and the unicorn visits.

26-Cotton Candy Christmas: Children wake up on Christmas to the ground covered in cotton candy. At first it seems like a dream come true, but it doesn't take long for everyone to realize that there is something sinister happening.

27-Genius In The Making: A 12 year old genius takes a job at the local high school and finds out that she still has a lot to learn.

28-Outwitting The Witch Down The Road: Two siblings must use their wits to escape a witch that wants them for dinner.

29-Prank Call: Some kids find out the Easter Bunny's phone number and decide to have some fun.

30-Big Spender: A child is given 10 million dollars just to see what they do with it. They surprise everybody.

Story Idea Generators Can Be A Resource - A good resource for writing prompts?

These sites are computer based and often come up with outlandish pairings without any real direction. I'm not saying you won't find any good story ideas (some even produce story titles), but you may find the results disappointing.

creepy-skeleton
creepy-skeleton

Good Story Titles And Ideas For Horror Fans

Who hasn't took a chance on a book or story because of the title?

31-Feeding Ground: Some campers decide to pitch their tents in the wrong spot.

32- Shaking Hands With Satan: A con man makes a deal with the Devil.

33-Young Sinners: A chemical spill causes a bunch of youngsters to go on a killing spree.

34-Dead Things That Aren't Really Dead: Reluctant zombies descend on a small town.

35-Why Some Humans Prefer Berries: A woman retells the experience that caused her to go vegetarian.

36-The Contest: A new reality show is created in which contestants can really die. Lots of people want the part.

37-A Glimpse of Hell: A very mean person gets a visit from someone offering to show him where he's going to end up if he doesn't change his ways.

38-Hobbyists: Some people have the most terrifying hobbies.

39-John's Demon: Someone calls forth a dark being and binds it in the form of his pet dog.

40-Proof: A skeptic demands proof from the universe that there is such a thing as ghosts - and gets it.

41-The Really Good Sale At Mr. Latt's Store: Mr. Latt needs to get rid of some cursed items really quickly. The town quickly falls into chaos as almost everyone buys at least one of the bargains.

42-Pushpins: A new serial killer has popped up on the FBI's radar. Can you guess the way he kills his victims?

43-The Wrong Kind of Exercise: A man is given set of weight lifing exercises that he has never seen before. They produce immediate results (good and bad).

44-Hold My Hand: A young woman asks a guy to follow her into Hell. He takes her hand and follows her into the adventure of a lifetime.

45-Hangman: Three children wander into some very strange beings that want to play a very dangerous game. Can they adapt, and in the end who will be the true monster?

Amazing Stories - January 1944 - Mad Robot

11 x 17 in. Masterprint

Buy for $19.99

A Few Things About Story Titles

1-They should not be dull.

2-Easy to remember is good.

3-Titles should fit the story.

4-You can't copyright a title.

5-Titles can be changed (and often are).

Reading Is A Great Way To Come Up With Creative Writing Ideas - Below are a few of my favorite magazines that I peruse on a regualr basis.

National Geographic
National Geographic

See what the rest of the world looks like without ever leaving your home.

 
Discover
Discover

Stay up on all of the developing science just around the corner.

 
Popular Mechanics
Popular Mechanics

A great resource for upcoming and current technology.

 

Neil Gaiman On Story Ideas and Writing

Even More Good, Great and Awesome Story Ideas

While most of these will work as a short story, they can all be developed into full fledged novels (if desired).

46-One Way To Get An A: Two desperate college students decide to kidnap a teacher’s prized cat and get more than they expected when the teacher comes after them – hard.

A Great Story From One Of My Favorite Authors - Warning: If you read one of his books, you'll want to read them all.

If you're a comic book fan I would highly suggest that you try The Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman. They are basically a series of short stories with a common supernatural entity. If you're not into comics, then I'd like to suggest the book below.

American Gods
American Gods

Old gods and new are pit against one another (in human form) in a struggle for humanity's faith.

The description may be short, but I will say that many film companies have been trying to get the rights to this story. You won't regret not getting it.

 

More Great Stuff - That will probably spark your imagination.

Hellblazer Graphic Novels Worth Reading
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Things To Photograph - Photography Ideas To Get You Motivated
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The Best Horror Films Ever Made - Good Horror Movies You've Got To See
I paid a visit to my local video store recently looking for some good horror movies to rent for the weekend. As I stood there looking for the perfect one...

The Writer's Notebook - An Essential Tool of Writing
If you're a writer and don't have a writer's notebook within your reach at all times then you risk losing that "next big idea" you come up with...

Who Would Win In A Fight? Cast Your Vote!
If you've never played the who would win in a fight game, you don't know what you've been missing. There is no other better way to pass time than arguing who...

Any Short Story Ideas Or Titles You Want To Share? - Keep it tame, please.

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    • PencilDrawings1 profile image

      PencilDrawings1 5 years ago

      WOW tough photos to label! Great lens thanks for sharing. It is amazing how a picture or sentence can spark all kinds of ideas

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome story ideas!!! There is one that I will be using. Thanks. I wish the site would have let me give titles to those cool pictures, but I'm including it in my comments instead.

      1st-pumpkin (Madman's View)

      2nd-dollhead (Learning Curve)

      3rd-glass (Broken Blues)

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      I find that headlines from very old newspapers - just the headlines - are often enough to spark an idea for a story.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I completely agree with you. I've found that I can often come up with more amazing stories just by analyzing a good title (especially a creative one). Good lens.

    • profile image

      tnabooks 4 years ago

      I love your suggestions for coming up with story ideas. They're great reminders that we can find ideas in things all around us, if we're paying close enough attention. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great article. When i am stuck i sit there and look around me, closely. Or i listen to what my children are saying.

    • atlanticheart profile image

      atlanticheart 4 years ago

      Really great article, thanks! I'm gonna have to go look for my list of possible titles now, and see what I can come up with.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Good article with lots of ideas

    • profile image

      richard-hatch-9256 4 years ago

      Great lens. It was a good idea to make it interactive with the story titles and picture.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Nightmare- A man wakes up from a nightmare only to realize he's a different person (who happens to be a serial killer).

    • sollertis profile image

      sollertis 4 years ago

      Superb lens for authors or anyone who may be curious how writers come up with ideas. As an author myself I have plenty of ideas but the hard part is turning those ideas into good tales.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Home of the Elves.A boy cuts a magic tree to burn to make a fire only that an elf warns him not too because once a part of the tree burns catastrophe follows and there will be no escape.

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 4 years ago

      Great idea for a lens and very nicely done.. :)

    • profile image

      bskcom 4 years ago

      I love your story ideas for the horror genre.

    • profile image

      ysc 4 years ago

      very useful resource. yes, we often get stuck and it is hard to come out and create bias for writing. I like finding random word in dictionary and maintaining writer's note. I also wrote a lens "Generating Ideas for Short Stories"; appreciate your comment.

    • pepys profile image

      pepys 3 years ago

      Regarding titles, it's a funny thing. Sometimes they pop into my head before I even start writing, while other times it is some time after the writing.

    • profile image

      petehyperc 3 years ago

      i really like your lens, very inspiring, feel free to check out my lens and my website www.coolquotesandsayings.co.uk

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      You've shared a wealth of material from which to draw writing ideas. Even topics that are out of the writer's idea can spur the next twist in their tale.

    • profile image

      changrcoacher 3 years ago

      Thank you for this lens. It made me think how best to tackle my goal.....

    • bobnolley lm profile image

      bobnolley lm 3 years ago

      Thanks for the great lens focused on creativity...we need all the inspiration we can get.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      Good titles come to me, and then when I start to write, I forget what they were! dang it!

    • profile image

      IreneL11 3 years ago

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      People buy titles, not books. So this is excellent info.

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 3 years ago from Houston

      Great content. I've written a few things that were inspired by titles. Like you, I keep an ongoing list of titles and it does help exercise my creative muscles.

    • profile image

      The_Storyteller 3 years ago

      Nice lens! Personally, coming up with ideas is the easy part for me, and sometimes coming up with titles to match is quite difficult!

      I did once dream I was in a creative writing class, and we were all given a title from which we had to create a story; someone in my class had "When Shadows Fall", and didn't know what to do, so I took it and came up with a whole story idea; and still remembered it when I woke up, so I hope to use it one day!

      Basically a world ruled by a dark lord of sorts, whose power is made strong at night. Every night (when shadows fall) his minions prowl the land, often breaking into houses, so that in the morning whoever lived there has mysteriously disappeared. The main character tries to find them when someone she cares about disappears, but the road to the dark lord's castle is only visible at night when it is so dangerous. And so on!

      Thanks for sharing. =)

    • profile image

      SophieShearerBooks 3 years ago

      Excellent Lens! There are some very useful ideas.

      I really struggle with titles for my books so just write until a good title emerges, sometimes it doesn't happen though as you can tell from my erotic romance books LOL.

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 3 years ago

      I've written stories that have come from a title that's popped up from nowhere, and I've written stories that didn't get a title until they were finished.

    • pjsart profile image

      pjsart 3 years ago

      Very fun lens...how about a title called "The Death Lens" a story about a writer who creates a squidoo lens like this then uses other people's ideas for his stories and becomes rich from them by outsourcing them to ghost writers after which he publishes them under his pen name and sells them on Amazon. One person who contributed his ideas is angered and decides to get revenge when he sees his story and realizes what the writer is doing.....the lens author ends up dead and the only clues are the stories that were contributed....

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

      Well not sure about any to share but I am looking at a few of these for ideas. Thanks

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 2 years ago

      From your lenses (have only discovered you) maybe you're a molecular biologist with a very dark secret! So wanted to come up with a title for the doll head picture. Maybe tonight after a glass of red.....Thanks Dan. Very enjoyable.

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