My current opinion is that really overtly obvious titles actually appeal to readers a lot. So you could go with something like: * Aliens, magic and planes (oh my!) * My Boyfriends Bizarre Slipstream Tales of Doom * Totally Awesome Space Adventures for the Morally Ambivalent
YTcyberpunkFeatured By OwnerNov 18, 2012Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Uuug, coming up with the title is the worst part, for me anyway.
Things to consider, that may lead to ideas, are: - Words that reflect the story's theme/moral/whatever - Something that gives an idea of the story's mood. ("LORD of the Rings" is a serious epic; "BLAZING Saddles" is a chaotic, wacky, out-of-this-world comedy; "GONE With the Wind" is a tragic romance story; etc.) - A good rule to follow (but you don't have to) is, shorter titles for serious stuff, longer titles for silly or whimsical stuff. ("The Matrix," "Inception," "Casablanca" vs. "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "The Emperor's New Groove.") - Damn, I had something else witty to say here, and I completely forgot it. How embarrassing.
I totally disagree with that guy in terms of choosing a title systematically. The title needs to be something that even you find catchy or appealing, not just something you can pull systematically. First let me say, It SEEMS you don't know anything specific about your story. Your characters are cliches in your own words, and there is no focus. Unless you're just not saying the actual answers to those quesitons, that's why you can't title it.
Once you have characters completely worked out with names, a set theme, and a specific direction, the title should come to you much easier. Honestly, it sounds like you're trying to make a universe in which you can go off on a huge serial adventure where your characters get to just...go do things. However, its not going to work unless there's a specific goal. Think of all long serial manga, the character has a goal, there is a set theme through the stories. Luffy wants Gold Roger's treasure/ be king of the pirates, Ed Elrich wants Al and his bodies back/atone for his sin, Naruto wants to become hokage or whatever, i never watched/read much of it. Ash wants to be pokemon master, THE VERY BEST. I don't see any indication of a direction or goal for your characters here.
Video game titles might be a good example of ways you can take perfect titles from a story once its developed. Once you get writing a specific plot outline and story arc, have a theme, and start naming things, something will pop out for a title. Like Halo, isn't "Master Chief and the Spartan Badasses" because it needs a name, its just, HALO. Its short, concise, has to do with the main conflict, yada yada. Mass Effect, Borderlands, Call of Duty, all pull from a major element of the theme or story.
Like *LadyAnder said, start working on your project first. Good titles seem to pop up as you develop the story and decide on what's important.
This may be helpful for you when you get some ideas to sort through: [link]
Of course, if you're planning to publish traditionally, all this may not matter at all. Research your publishing options if you haven't already. Sometimes the publisher will take control over the title.
What’s the inciting event? (What event throws the main character out of his status quo/comfort zone?)
An ET chip implant into one of their brains and the other saw a ghost.
What’s the main character like? (Anything that makes him more interesting to prospective readers or suggests his role–please note that using the character’s name in the title does not necessarily accomplish either)
A cliche anti happiness guy who dresses in all black and the other one's a cliche shy girl who's shit scared of everything and has tiny moments of heroism.
What’s the main antagonist like? (Same as for the protagonist)
Which main antagonist? Everyone has an agenda. The Earth's full of dogmatic idiots ripe for the picking/ misleading.
What’s the setting like? (Time and/or place)
The entire fucking multi-verse. All the time, every time. Science, yo.
What’s the central goal of the main character and/or what’s at stake if he loses?
The entire time line branch of an Earth if they mess it up a third time but it's no huge deal if it fails. The souls will just go back to where they came from and reincarnate. The real goal is for the protagonists to get back to their home plane.
What’s the author’s style like?
Is there an interesting contrast between elements of the title?
I think the reason you're having a hard time with the title is the same reason you have very broad answers to some of the questions - there is still a lot left open in your project. At least, that's what I read from your initial post. Maybe I'm wrong - and you're almost done?
Sometimes a title is just hard, no matter what. Think of it this way, though. Your title is an advertisement for the story. The title, and the cover, have the job of selling the reader by piquing their interest just enough to get them to go find the synopsis/blurb/etc. You don't necessarily have to find the one word or phrase which sums up the entire story. Highlighting one thing that is particularly interesting or meaningful may be sufficient. (If you haven't written the blurb yet, this is a good hint to keep in mind if you find the task daunting).
Haha, I was having a semi rant and answered with general surface level (but still true) answers. We actually have the entire story done - it just needs to be formatted into a comic style since it was initially written with live action in mind and put into panels/ storyboards. That's a good point though I hadn't thought of it like that, thanks.
Best tip I can give you, start working on your project. It is much easier to title something when you something laid out in front of you. If you can't think of an appropriate name based off of the story or even a major themes, it is just best to use a placeholder and work on the story. No need to sweat over a title.