Title Tip: Negative Brainstorming

graffiti on a blackboard

Make a list of of the most horribly on-the-nose titles that you can think of. Make them as painfully bad as you possibly can.

List at least ten titles–but if you’re having fun, keep going. Go on, get all those awful titles out of your system.

Now step back and see what your list of bad titles tells you about your understanding of your story or poem and what ideas that new understanding sparks in turn.

You should have a fresh perspective on your writing. And, with a little luck, you should be on your way to a better title, too.

I recently had a chat with a friend about how to come up with titles when you’re stuck. I know some writers start with a title or find titles easy to work out: lucky them! However, for anyone who gets stuck regularly or even just occasionally when it’s time to choose a title, I’ll be sharing a series of tips on title writing, all techniques that I use at different times that work for me. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

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