marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

a title trick

Sometimes a title suggests its own story.  Which means that generating titles can be a good trigger.  Of course, then you have to generate them. . . .

One thing I've done on occasion is twist existing titles -- and the more cliched, the better.  Take, say, Prince of Thieves -- and turn into Thief of Princes -- hmm, what does the thief do with them, once stolen?  And how well can you support yourself with such a meager choice of things to steal?  The Tower of Shadows -- hmm, Shadows of the TowerWho lives in the tower?  A wizard, a king?  But whoever it is, living the shadows of the tower would be a natural location for all those grunts who do the mundane minutia of life, like cooking or laundry, for the high muckety mucks who live up there.  Doing laundry for a wizard must have its interesting aspects.

Some don't ring a bell.  Sword of Shadow -- well, if Shadow of the Sword means anything to you, perhaps you can come up with a notion.  Then, that's creativity for you.  A lot of waste motion because if you let the judgment in too swiftly, it will strangle the creativity.  Besides, it can be fun.  (What would The Time of the World be?)  And often enough, the combination is wacky enough that you will need a good chunk of world-building for the title to conceivably make sense.

Be duly warned that if you do opt for this, and you do end up writing the story, I make no promises that when the story is done, the title will be appropriate.
Tags: inspiration, titles

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