From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Re-post: Creative Writing Title Ideas

For me, titling is one of my favorite parts of a piece. Its a very intuitive process, and what works for me may not work for you, but there are certain things that may help everyone. And remember, writing down prospective titles in the back of your creative writing notebook is a great thing to do. Remember to make your title match your piece. You don't want false advertising. Let your title hint at the issues in your piece, but don't give everything away. There are no real rules for titling, so do what works for you. But just as a starting point, here are some "formulas" that may give you some ideas:

-'The Noun' or One Word titles: The Mask, The Notebook, The Road, The Stand, Macbeth, Les Miserables, Twilight, Frasier, Lost

-Pairing: (if you pair quirky things this can be pretty fun) Guns 'n Roses, Cats and Dogs, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

-Person and Phrase: Dan in Real Life, Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends

-Known Phrase: Gone With the Wind, Alls Well that Ends Well, Walk Two Moons

-Word + Qualifier: Star Wars, Happy Feet, Star Trek, Silent Spring

-Verb(noun) + Phrase: Running out of Time, Interview with a Vampire, Touching Spirit Bear, Pushing Daisies

Anyway, those are just some basic ideas that may help, and here's just a random list of titles from the back of my notebooks that you can steal/use to get your own ideas:

-I Love You, Take a Right
-Your Whole Death Ahead of You
-In Between Raindrops
-Dissonant Peace
-Pickled Down
-Dead of 87
-This Narrative Woman
-Bad Luck and Trout
-On Nosebleeds
-Out of Canola Oil
-How the Palmers Saved Christmas

Hope this helps, and happy writing!
Sarah Allen


  1. Thanks for your insights about titles Ms. Sarah.

    I usually depend on old copycat ways. I read some titles and make a new one out of them.

    Cute and Curious form Fast and Furious
    stars let me down
    3 things that went wrong in my life
    wild child
    free wind (gone with wind)

    so on ..

    with warm regards

  2. I have a writer friend who absolutely cannot begin writing a story until she has come up with a title first. I would never write anything if I had to operate this way! Although I have started to keep a (long) list of potential story titles, I have yet to use them because I like to let a word or a phrase from the work-in-progress (sometimes even the work-almost-completed)suggest itself as the title.


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