Story Title: How to choose, what to include and how to improve?

Heh, long book titles I can remember are something like “Principles of Geotechnical Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, Shore Protection Manual (1984),” and the collection of “Handbook of Basic Calculus by <Insert your prof’s name here>.”

1 Like

I assume these are nonfiction but it would be badass if they were fiction.

1 Like

@kirakana
I came up with my title in two parts

The Operative: I just decided to go with what the story was about The Operatives of the UEG (in story empire)

The second part “fires of revolution” had more to do with what the current state of the world is.

(All of it was essentially random shower thoughts really haha)

2 Likes

Titles are now a marketing tool, but ideally they should be informative and prepare the reader for what to expect egarding tone, genre and the general premise.

However, this is not always the case, some books and games want to remain a little bit mysterious about some of the central elements of the story, or want to impart a certain message in a meaningful way without giving it away right from the start. However there should still be a little clue that maybe can’t be too obvious at first but makes more sense at the end. Some titles manage to be more meaningful once you understand what the story is about, I am Legend is a good example of this. And of course the title needs to remain catchy and not be dissonant with the genre or tone of the media.

And a good advice about almost any title should be memorable and unique, difficult nowadays of course, but probably making a google search before deciding your title would be a good idea. And if your title manages to be very memorable or interesting, sometimes this might compensate for other things like length or uncertainty.

And just for funsies, here are some memorable titles:

https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51L6CDPLUBL.jpg
https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51TwXkkk%2BZL.jpg
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BDZAKR1PL.jpg

I guess that if you are just as bizarre as possible it will work too.

2 Likes

I don’t have much to add, but since Fallen Hero: Rebirth was touted as a good title, it might be in everybody’s interest how I picked it.

Originally my WIP was called Los Diablos, which was always meant to be a working title. I asked players if they had any title suggestions, and I got a ton. After throwing around words I combined a few things to get Fallen Hero as a series title, and decided to go for a theme with the book titles: Rebirth, Retribution and Revolution…

Looking back, I am happy with the title, the one thing that’s a bother is that searching for just ‘Fallen Hero’ is waaaay too wide a descriptor, and is hard to google.

Since I have a taste for weird/long titles, I am glad that my playtesters brought be back to earth and I didn’t end up going for something utterly weird.

9 Likes

But…but…Choices of the Ortega: Heartbreak and Kleenex !

You telling me that doesn’t sound good ! I buy it! TAKE MAH MONEY!

P.S: I almost named mah puppy Ortega…she hated it…cose I went all weirdo on her :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Any chance you could share your experience then? :slightly_smiling_face:

Originally, my WIP was called “Paint the Demon Black”, but it was too wordy and even I wasn’t sure where it had come from - maybe inspired by a song? Who knows?

As I was sitting there in dashing don, I realized I wanted a quick and easy title that was relevant to the story.

The original was long, wordy, and wasn’t relevant beyond having the word “demon” in it.

Then I thought… “well… it’s kinda like Devil May Cry…” so I changed it up to “Devil’s Heart” - since the words “demons” and “devils” are pretty much synonymous/interchangeable - and I’m very happy with the result!

Rolling Stones, I assume? At least, that was my first association.

Side note: if four words is “wordy”, boy am I ever in trouble.

2 Likes

Hey could I get everyone’s advice?

My current WIP is a story where you play as an immortal being in a high fantasy world who woos other immortals like vampires, demons, and cursed princesses. Kind of like a dating sim for magical people who can’t die.

The working title is “Kiss of Death” which I’m not really satisfied with. What do you recommend instead?

I’m no expert on names still not satisfied with my WIP’s after all, but I thought I could pitch in some ideas: Date the Undead, The Date of Doom, The Death of Dating, Dating from grave and Beyond, My Date Is Immortal, The Dead Romance, Romancing the UnDead …

I’d very much like to suggest Romance is Dead, but unfortunately that is also a title of a visual novel.

EDIT: Someow, I missed that the player and the date are both immortal, so these might not be that useful.

humm…

how about ‘masquerade of the Immortals’ ? or 'Masquerade of insert here the name of dimensions where your story happen)

“Immortal Love” maybe?

How about “My Immortal”? Wait no …

“Romance Isn’t Dead Yet”?

This is hard.

How about “If Your Romance Lasts Longer Than Four Centuries Then Contact Your Doctor”

7 Likes

What aspects of romance are you exploring in this game of immortals? What’s the general feel of the game? Is there a type of theme that plays at the center of your story? These are just a few questions that are coming to my mind at the moment.

Honestly, that title makes me think that I’m either about to play a game that has a tragic story or I’m about to play a game that centers around certain monsters that can kill people in that manner (just my opinion of course and I’m uncertain if that is the intention in the first place).

2 Likes

Paint the Demon Black is a 9/10 title and Devil’s Heart is like 2/10.

@Okami-Nora how about Til Death Do Us Part?

… not fantasy enough

I know this is a serious discussion and you want legit titles but if you go my immortal i will not and im sorry to say, cannot take your writing seriously if you will not put Ebony Darkness Dementia Raven way with her long black ebony hair flowing in the wind…

Also Kiss of the Immortals, or the Undead Romance, Choose your immortal… Im just spit balling here dont take me seriously lol

(Again, these are just my opinions on the matter)

I actually kind of like that potential title a bit due to the paradox that can be created from the title and the synopsis of the game (though it might be a little long for a title). After all, the player is going to be a immortal, as well as their potential ROs. So the title feels like a immortal being roundabout (or even sarcastic and playful) in their way of declaring to another immortal that they intend to be with them forever. Amusingly enough, if your game actually had either the MC being immortal while the love interests weren’t (or vice versa), that title would feel a lot more tragic.

That said, how strongly a title holds up also feels like it depends on how successfully it is at linking itself to its story. I’m not sure how to explain this part. But aside from the title grabbing the readers’ attention, it feels like how it links to its story is also important (like does it indicate the story‘s tone, give the reader a mystery that peeks their interest, state what the story is in simple terms, etc).

Of course, sometimes a good title gets thought up while fleshing out its story. Stuff like this doesn’t have a set order :joy:

1 Like

A good title draws people in and captivates the audience. It gives introspection and a look at what the work is. Now, I never did that. BUT if I did, here’s what my thoughts would be.

Titles should tell something about the story. It doesn’t need to be a readily obvious at first glance connection. In fact, the cooler stories are usually the ones where it doesn’t become apparent until later on.

More importantly, it just needs to feel right with the author. I didn’t give the titles to my WIPs, all so elaborate thought, but I just named them something that I felt like they COULD be called. The question to ask is simple.

Does the title feel right to you? If you’re the writer, then you are the one writing the dam thing. That sounds obvious, but…yeah. Go for weird or stupid, if you want. You’re writing it. Make it your own. It’s okay to have it stand out.

4 Likes

@will What about, “Eternal Love” or “Love at First Eternity” or “Wanted: Tall, Dark, and Immortal”? :smile: Hehe. I dunno, I’m just spitballing. I suck at titles. I do think that playing around with some variation of “Til Death Do us Part” has potential though.


Anyway, can I get some opinions too? My current WIP title is “The Inter-Literary Adventures of a Fifth Grader”. It’s a portal fantasy about kids traveling through story worlds via “plot holes”.

I like it, but it’s 1) a mouthful, 2) “-Sixth Grader” and “-Seventh Grader” are confusing sequel subtitles, and 3) I’m a little worried about including the age in the subtitle.

So I’m going to shorten it to “The Inter-Literary Adventurers”, mostly because the subtitle doesn’t really work for the sequels, and it’s likely going to be the series title anyway. (And it clearly states that it’s about a group.) It doesn’t have the same charm, but I think it still retains the whimsical and lighthearted feel.

What do you guys think? New subtitle or no subtitle? Different title entirely? I did a poll sometime ago in my own thread and people suggested that I keep the longer version, but I feel like there’s some bias there.

Suggestions are welcome. And thanks for reading! :blush:

Some other titles I thought of:

The Plot Travelers/Walkers/Explorers
Book Bounded
Beyond The Fourth Wall (Ehh, a bit misleading and too spoilery)
LiteraTours (it’s an organization in the story, also spoilery)
The Anachronicles of a Fifth Grader (confusing and misleading)
The Diary of a Ten Year Old (doesn’t sound fantasy at all)
Mommy! We went into a Plot Hole! (:smile: Would actually be nice if it was a standalone)
Your Parents are in Another Plot Hole (:stuck_out_tongue: also misleading)

Hehe, I do like my titles with a hint of silliness.

2 Likes