Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:54 AM
I'm so used to posting online that I always have a title before I write. Most of the time, I pick I title that sounds cool, kind of describes what I'm writing, and just go with it. It's not like I can't change it later.
The easiest title I have ever come up with was "Alyce in Dystopia," because I had the title before I even wrote a word. That was the whole idea of the story: a girl wakes up in a strange new place she's never seen before. Only instead of Wonderland, it's a post-apocalyptic California. And she doesn't fall down a rabbit hole--she wakes up from a coma. It was all kind of fun, making it work like that.
Now the story doesn't really focus on similarities between the two, and the words "Alyce in dystopia" are never spoken in the novel, but any person worth their salt can figure it out. It's not hard.
Other stories, like "Fear of Falling," even though I'm not really ever going to write that again, had just a simple idea that had virtually nothing to do with the plot. Except a little scene I wrote beforehand, with the main character (Dixie) afraid to jump off the cliff into the lake. Until her friend pushes her off. That was just to tie in the fear of falling in a little way, but I eventually did have a plan for later on involving the bad guy.
They're pretty random a lot of the time.
Many of my titles come from the song they're inspired by. Some people might remember "Tales of Another Broken Home"? That's one of the sections of Green Day's song "Jesus of Suburbia." The whole story of "Broken Home" was American Idiot with a twist. I was really obsessed with American Idiot at the moment, and I felt inspired. So I wanted to write something about a kid who runs away. Except he runs away with a girl and a guy who are heading to Seattle, so he just goes along for the ride.
It would've been a fun story, if I wasn't so involved in other projects. The beginning was too slow for me, and I couldn't get the start I needed, but I would still consider writing that again today. It was fun.
As far as the length of the title goes--whatever works. I think long titles are more fun, but short and sweet is always a great way to go. As long as the title isn't completely random (like, uh, Twilight, where she tries to make it work throughout the book, but it just doesn't; the name, while it sounds great, is not right for the book). I like one word titles; they're very dramatic. But I also like a good humorous title (I still have plans to write "Pain, Agony, Writer's Block"--just not yet), and it's even better if they're long. I dunno. I love long titles, even though I haven't been gutsy enough to do a very long one. "Tales of Another Broken Home" is long, but it's not the kind of thing I'm talking about.
I hate cheesy titles. I don't know if it exists (probably does, not to offend anyone here), but "I Will Always Love You" or "My Soul Mate"--please, this is just...no. If you're writing a romance, I want either some kind of witty title or something as far away from "My Soul Mate"/"I Will Always Love You" as possible. "Twilight" at least has a nice ring to it, even if it's completely nonsensical. I refuse to read something like either of the two mentioned above. Sorry, authors who are into cheesy titles. Not my thang.