Made in America

Writing Prompt: Title Game

For some writers, titling a book can be the absolute bane of their existence. How do they assign a few simple words to the duty of summarizing hundreds of book pages worth of their souls? They’ve likely tried a million different variations of the same three words and tested out hundreds of lines, phrases, or terminology used within their pages- desperately trying to get that perfect ‘aha’ moment of knowing. But that moment never comes, so they start to spend all of their time seeing family and friends lobbing title ideas at them, hoping they’ll give them the reaction they want. Except what actually happens is they lose their enthusiasm for this very quickly and they all give them different answers on what their favorite is, which makes them even more confused. Before long, they’re dreaming of title ideas and writing them down half asleep, sure they’re brilliant only to find out in the morning they’re utterly meaningless. Eventually, after weeks of losing their sanity and putting way more pressure on themselves than necessary, they finally go with their gut choice and hope for the best.

Dorrance Publishing Title Writing Exercise 1

So… all that goes to say that titling a book that you’ve put your heart and soul into can be an uphill battle. But, on the reverse, working backward using a title can be a fun little writing exercise to get your creative juices flowing. Below are three lists, use a random number generator to select an option from each of these lists…

Chose a descriptor

1. Diamond
2. Deadly
3. Envious
4. Blue
5. Humble
6. Comely

Chose a primary word

1. Hammer
2. Elephant Tusk
3. Daughter
4. Apology
5. Dragon
6. Roller Coaster

Chose an ending word

1. The Awkward Muffin
2. The Man Called Once
3. The Land of Lost Things
4. The Silent Winter
5. The Giant Gourd
6. The Extraordinary Hour

Dorrance Publishing Title Writing Exercise 3

Create your title

Now drop the words you selected into the following title:

The [Descriptor] [Primary Word] and [Ending Word]

You’re now tasked with writing a short story using the title you’ve generated. Try to imagine how these three things could all be part of one cohesive story. Maybe they’re symbolic in some cases and more literal in others- but try to create characters, plot, and a story that will match up with the zany title you’ve created.

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Publication via the Dorrance imprint is a perfect choice for the author looking for a complete, high quality, personal publishing program that leverages the expertise of publishing professionals. Find out for yourself today!

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