Five Tips on Writing Titles for Those Hopelessly Bad at Writing Titles

Probably an interesting idea. I always have a problem titling my works. So it’s nice to see some simple advice on the subject.

Experiences with Language

This post isn’t about the word “title” necessarily. It’s a fairly neutral word unless you’re the one responsible for creating them. The word “title” is only ever terrifying for writers.

The saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover doesn’t apply to titles, presumably because traditionally published writers don’t necessarily have any control over their cover art, but they’re entirely responsible for the title of their piece. Titles are also an essential and integrated part of the story, essay, or poem in a way that cover artwork isn’t (unless we’re discussing picture books, comics, graphic novels, or graphic memoirs, of course.).

We know that they’re important and that we will be judged by them before anyone ever reads our work. Because of this, it pains me to say that I’m still unable to create consistently good titles. For me, they require a great deal more mental energy than…

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Inebriated Past (820 words)

“So, Davie’s going to the karaoke bar.” Sam slurped spaghetti from her giant plate.

“Davie?” I frowned at the name before it hit me. I slammed my hands on the table. “David’s back?! I haven’t seen him since that party two semesters ago at ΑΣΚ.”

“Yeah, well…” Sam shoved a meatball into her mouth, swallowing hard. Girl loved her spaghetti. “Are you gonna be okay? I mean, that whole stink with his ex was the epitome of ridiculous.”

“That had nothing to do with me.” I held my hands up, the proverbial ‘my hands are clean’ sign. “Whatever happened was between them. She did seem like the jealous type, but damn.”

“Come on, you never thought of dating good old country boy Davie? He had a bunch of girlfriends for a reason—showin’ ’em that good ol’ country lovin’ and all.”

I laughed at Sam’s bad attempt at a southern accent. We were city girls through and through—and that accent was just plain bad.
“You really need to stop that.”

“Seriously, though. Why not Davie? He was adorable.” Sam puffed out her cheeks like a stuffed chipmunk and poked them.

I laughed again. “He was adorable, yeah, but Davie always had a girlfriend.”

“You could’ve had him.” Sam pointed her fork full of meatball and pasta at me.

I didn’t smile back. “We both know I would never do that.”

Sam stared back. “I know, but—”

“No,” I said firmly. “I wouldn’t do that to someone else. Besides, in the end I never saw David like that. He was like my— like my Anakin to my Obi-won.”

Sam choked on her spaghetti, spitting up her food. “Never, ever say that again,” she gasped.

We both laughed. Dating a guy who made at least thirty star wars references in a single night probably wasn’t the best idea. Sam was really glad when I broke up with my recent bf a month ago.

As we walked out the restaurant after finishing, on our way to the train station I asked Sam, “How do you know David is gonna be at the bar tonight?”

“Uh…” Sam puffed out her cheeks again. “I…in-vi-ted him?”

My face dropped.

“Come again?”

“I Facebook him all the events we go to.”

“He has a Facebook?! Why didn’t you tell me about this before?”

“He asked…me not to.” She shrugged.

My eyes bulged.

“He said he wanted to do some things before seeing you, again. I don’t know, maybe that crap with Ana— he really took to heart or something.”

“That’s a long time to reflect on something don’t you think? A whole year! Best friends since junior year of high school and not even a single text!”

“Look I don’t actually talk to him, so don’t take it out on me, okay?” Sam put her hands up and ran towards the train station. “I’ll see you tonight. Don’t be late.”

I sighed as I headed across the street towards downtown. As I got on the next train, I watched the vendors walk by trying to sell their batteries and cheap toys. Each stop they get off and on, trying to make a sale. Out the windows, at the cement blocks made up the underground. All I could think about was the last time I saw David. He was drunk as hell, and clinging to me.

“I don’t feel good.”

“No shit David, you’re drunk,” I laughed.

“With you I feel, but she doesn’t make me feel. Amy!” David cried out, and hugged my hips. I looked down concerned.

“David.” He looked up at me drooling, “Awe, come on man.” I grabbed him and pulled him off my pants. He suddenly wrapped his arms around me, dropping his drink. “I love you so much, I can’t believe I’m with you now.”

I sigh. “I’m sure Ana would love to hear that David, as soon as you’re sober.” I tried to loosen his grip, but he held tight.

“I love you.”

I froze. My lips twitched at the corners. “Davie, I’m not Ana.”

After a while David blushed, finally understanding, and let go, slowly sauntering off in a drunken haze. He shouted, “If only. Then— then I would…”

I remember him collapsing by the front door.

And I remember wishing he had been serious— that he hadn’t been drunk. And for just that second I remember wishing I had been Ana.

Sometimes I still do.

Progression

The past couple of day, nay weeks, have been suffocating. The sun is at war with me this unbecoming summer. And I am slowly withering under it’s attack. But fear not my friends, I will soak in water and digest lots of Twizzlers before I burn to a crisp.

I have been gone for quite some time and I must tell you the reasons. It is not laziness…necessarily. It is because I got a job. Yes! A job. A gloriously life draining position in life which all college and high schoolers and even grown ups must sell several years of their soul in order to live and provide for their families. As well as the betterment of society, etc, etc. Anyway, my job is…difficult. For me. I just want to sleep right afterward. Manual labor in hot weather is killer. But I have been keeping busy.

If you guys don’t know about it, try and check this out. I’ve been staying at a friends house for the summer. Fellow author in progress K.M. Alleena (she’s got blogs up her butt, I assure you). And she’s cool beans. I work at the job for a couple of hours a day, crash on the couch and write…or sleep until the pain in my feet goes away. Whichever feels better! But I digress. I have spent time here and we have been talking about our writing projects. While I share my love of fiction with you, K.M. publishes in magazines and what not. I was rejected, as most authors are, and decided a blog where I can get public opinion suits me better. Differences aside, she introduced me to not only her new kitten, but to http://campnanowrimo.org/

This thing is pretty cool. Basically, they set up a month where you have to write a novel, or whatever, based on a major word count. You can work on unfinished projects of you want, but you have to write to meet your goal and finish the work. I am currently writing a novel…well several, but I entered one. I’ve only had one other attempt at a novel in High School and got as far as seven chapters. To this day, it remains in the confines of my hard drive, never to be seen my human eyes. Other than my own with my shame filled tears. Just kidding…or am I?

I’ve had a tiresome time of getting adjusted to this work schedule, with the life sucking heat and aggressive sickness that is writer’s block. But have faith. Please, because I am about to run out. Can I borrow some from you guys?

Whatever you choose to do, look at it or not, I am currently participating in the Camp NanoWrimo which is for the month of this JULY. I just submitted my count, and it’s annoying. Every counter is different and I hate that sometimes what you think you wrote is not the same amount that their counter will approve. The DEPRESSION!!! Oh, the AGONY!!
I’ve written thus far, two chapters with one extra scene for background…which I am not sure where to put that in the story, but I should try to develop some new scenes while I am doing this. Everyday I have to write seven pages towards this. That should be a big challenge because I’m usually all or nothing.

In other news, I got invited by LinkedIn to write for them. Sounds fun. Any ideas for a topic?

What else…..Oh, yes. I found a story I worked on a while ago in my computer. I completely forgot about it. I edited it and I think I’ll be putting it up on the blog in a little while. It’s not very long, but I hope you guys like it. I’ll be looking at some more articles and writing that novel. Maybe, you guys can help me with title suggestions! I’ll figure out the synopsis, and when I do, you guys can give some suggestions. We’ll see what happens in the coming days.

In the mean time, stay writing and get it all out from the back of your mind.