Now, to talk about yet another part of writing that I really suck at. You guessed it! Making up a title. I really really have problems with coming up with a snazzy title because I’m always paranoid that it sounds dumb.
I cheat a little with titles. I always make my friends and fellow writers help me out.
I have six publications out so far, and all six titles were hard for me to come up with.
“Across Borders” was my very first title, and I have to admit, I was playing it safe with that one. I can’t claim that it’s a very inspiring title. It’s very straight forward and to the point. The story is literally about two lovers from opposing nations, so it really is, as it says, “across borders.” Very simple. At least it’s not ridiculous.
“Insanity Girls” was my next title. It shares its name with the name of the punk rock band that one of my characters is in. I liked the name “Insanity Girls” for a band name, I wasn’t so sure if it fit with the title of a story. I couldn’t really think up a different name, however, so that’s the one I stuck with.
“Rangers over Regulus” was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to come up with. I made a mind map chart to try and figure out what kind of name would be good for this story. I asked friends. I banged my head against the wall. One of my friends suggested “Libby on the Range” as a joke, which I found funny because the acronym was LOTR (like Lord of the Rings. Sorry if that isn’t as hilarious to you as it was to me). That’s what Rangers was called for the first three months of its life. I finally did pick a name, and there are still a few people who don’t like the title.
Next up was Hakusan Angel. That one was slightly easier, because I was basing it off of a Japanese-type naming system. With names like “Gunslinger Girl,” “Sailor Moon,” “Boys Over Flowers,” and “Marmalade Boy” to go off of, “Hakusan Angel” wasn’t such a weird title.
Next came “Love Rampage,” which I actually turned into my publisher with the title “Unicorn story” because I couldn’t come up with a title before the deadline. Luckily for me, Less Than Three Press doesn’t require authors to come up with a title immediately and will even help you out with one if you need it. Not that you should be lazy and just let them make up all your titles, but if you’re seriously stumped, it’s not absolutely necessary to have one when you’re submitting your story. I think I came up with “Love Rampage” in a fever dream.
“Sky Knights” was the easiest title ever, for some reason. Obviously, since my characters are aviators, the “sky” part was easy. I wanted the title to convey that my characters are guarding their homeland, and to express their bravery. So I just mashed them together, and it turned out to be a title that said what I meant.
So there are all my stories for title creation. I think I might have made a post before about mind maps, but in case you’re interested, I’ll explain what that entails.
Basically, it’s a word association type map. You write down the themes of your story in bubbles and then make little off-shoots of words that are associated with that theme. If I were to make a mind map for “Sky Knights,” I would have put “aviator” in one bubble and “sky” would be one of the off-shoots. Then you look at all the words you can come up with and try to combine them to make a title. Sometimes it doesn’t work, as in the case of “Rangers over Regulus.”