Story Titling

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
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Randy Hulshizer
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Re: Story Titling

Postby Randy Hulshizer » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:09 am

This simple question has turned into a fascinating discussion. Thanks everyone. wotf009
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Re: Story Titling

Postby Chris533 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:23 pm

I HATE HATE HATE the title of my current story -- but was going to just ignore it and submit - but this discussion has been an inspiration -- I've already come up something better -- it can still use some work but much better than what I had
Vol.34-Q2 HM
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Re: Story Titling

Postby RSchibler » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:58 am

I’m on my fourth quarter for the contest and the titles get easier every time. I try to go for something that is both a hook that entices the reader to be curious about what I’m getting at and that, upon finishing the story, will have some kind of deeper meaning. I just renamed my Q3 sub to put it out on submission, and am much happier with the new title. I wouldn’t say it drives my writing, though I think I’d struggle to write without a title. Interesting.
V34: R, HM, R
V35: HM, R, R, HM
V36: R, HM, HM, SHM
V37: HM, SF, P

ALWAYS available for critique. PM me.

Stories in A Dying Planet, Flame Tree Publishing and Hold Your Fire, WordFire Press
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Dustin Adams
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Re: Story Titling

Postby Dustin Adams » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:38 pm

I used to think my titles were pretty good, but my critiques often suggest other titles.
When I critique, I rarely suggest different titles to folks. Well, except for one recently wotf011

Lately (for a few years) I've been into my title being in the body in some meaningful way. Not accidentally or incidentally, but intentionally.
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Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1

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Re: Story Titling

Postby preston » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:37 pm

I love a good title. To me the perfect title is short, memorable, poetic/lyrical, original, contains concrete images, and has a double meaning, or a new perspective after reading the story. A minor sampling of some great WOFT winning titles:

Adjusting the Moon, by Kerawynn Long (IX)
Winter Night, With Kittens, by Sam Wilson (VIII)
Flutterbyes, by Jo Etta Ledgerwood (VI)
Black Star and Dark Companion, by R. Garcia Robertson (IV)
Silicon De Bergerac, by W. Eric Schult(X)
Arcadus Arcane, by Dennis J Pimple (I)
Conversation with a Mechanical Horse, by Floris M Kleijne (XX)
The Sun Falls Apart, by J.W. Alden (XXXII)
Swords Like Lighting, Hooves Like Thunder, by KD Julicher (XXXII)

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Re: Story Titling

Postby VinSev » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:33 pm

MattDovey wrote:
(from my shelf: Queen of Sorcery, Castle of Wizardry, Domes of Fire, Pawn of Prophecy, Seeress of Kell, Sorceress of Darshiva... yes, those are all David Eddings)

At last! A David Eddings fan! He's one of my top three favorite authors of all time (the others being Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett). But yes, his titles are less than stellar.

Actually, Sorceress of Darshiva and Seeress of Kell are currently teetering on the top of my book pile. I should probably do something about that.
"The adverb is not your friend."
-Stephen King

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Re: Story Titling

Postby Harion » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:03 am

I never worry about titles until after I'm finished. It's just like writing poetry. I leave titling for last. I love making titles part of the story. Either as a tease or as a part of the cathartic process of reading. I want readers to get that additional gut punch when they realize why the title was like that.

That said, there's no point worrying about titles in this contest. The readers and judges are not ordinary readers looking for books to buy. They are readers looking for good material. Titles at this stage are inconsequential.

But if you're a writer aiming to self-publish, or a publisher aiming to sell a book - titles are absolutely important. Aside from cover art, titles are the first thing buyers notice about the book. Titles can be the difference between a sale and a non-sale.

I mean, look at these titles and tell me you aren't moved to buy the book immediately when you see them:

1. Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes
2. Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea
3. Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank: A Slightly Tarnished Southern Belle's Words of Wisdom
4. An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England
5. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
6. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales
7. When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?
8. Fuck This Book
9. Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
10. Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining: America's Toughest Family Court Judge Speaks Out
WOTF entries:
Q1 Vol 29 - R
Q3 Vol 35 - HM
Q4 Vol 35 - R

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