Friday, November 8, 2013

when the going gets weird.....

The leader of my writing group sent out her monthly newsletter with this fun little writing exercise/survey in it. Since I am AWFUL at coming up with book titles, I kind of enjoyed this. (The questions all come from a book by Will Dunne, The Dramatic Writer's Companion, which I've been told is very good.)

......I did not, however, come up with a better title for the book in question. "apocalypse thingy" it remains. 

What do you other writers think? Do you have title troubles as well? Do this with me!!

What would your title be if it . . .

1. Summed up your whole story in a single word? (examples: Proof, Cats, Hairspray) Apocalypse

  2. Used so many words we could barely remember them all? (example: Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad) ...I couldn't think of an answer for this one

  3. Asked a question? (example: What Price is Glory?What Do We Do Now?

  4. Issued an order, warning, or advice? (example: Play It Again, Sam; Don't Drink The WaterUse Your Common Sense

  5. Named your main character? (example: Hamlet, Tiny AliceBrick

  6. Described your main character? (example: The Lord of the Rings, The Miracle Worker)  School's Biggest Nerd Becomes Fearless(Not Really) Leader in the Midst of the End of the World

  7. Issued a statement from the main character? (example: I Married a WerewolfThis sucks.

  8. Named your two most important characters? (example: Romeo & Juliet...couldn't answer this either because there really aren't two "most important" characters...

  9. Described a set of characters? (example: The Odd Couple, Angels in AmericaThe Only People Left on Earth are Children, a Convicted Killer, and a Battered Housewife/Redneck. (<--this one has potential I think)

10. Highlighted the setting? (example: Our Town, Little Shop of HorrorsAnywhere Safe in Upstate New York

11. Highlighted the date or era? (Twelfth Night, Year of Living DangerouslyArmageddon 2012

12. Focused on something physical? (Schindler's List, The Diary of Anne FrankWe Might Need More Guns

13. Highlighted a certain feeling or mood? (WickedDoomed
14. Combined two elements usually not matched? (example: Arsenic and Old Lace, Cries and Whispers) ...couldn't come up with an answer for that

15. Suggested a lesson? (How the West Was Won) How to Survive Puberty with No Parents, No Electricity, No Running Water, and Oh Yeah Nuclear Fallout is Pretty Much Everywhere So Get Your Arses into the Forest Like Now. (<-- this is also a potential winner)

16. Were a metaphor? (The Silence of the Lambs, A Doll's House, The Lion in Winter) yeah I'm no good with coming up with those kinds of artsy metaphors

17. Summed up the main event? (Waiting for Godot, Death of a SalesmanFinding a Safe Place When There Really Aren't Any

18. Identified the subject of the story? (A Beautiful MindThe End of The World Sort Of

19. Identified the genre or category of your story? (Pulp Fiction) Middle Grade Apocalyptic Fiction (btw this genre did not exist until I just invented it)

20. Made a literary allusion? (Of Mice and Men, Brave New World, Gaudy Night)  ummm... there's a bunch of Old Testament allusions in the book but I feel like any title I come up with relating to that will just sound trite..... other news, I am still a starving writer. But I get paid today, so hopefully I will be somewhat less starving. 


  1. I do believe that my internet ate my comment. This seems like a pretty fun thing. I'll probably do it myself but not here in the comments. It gives me something to blog about. I don't have much trouble with titles but I mostly just choose them at random. I hope you are indeed less starving now Mich. Or soon will be.

  2. omg i might just about steal this from you
    The Only People Left on Earth are Children, a Convicted Killer, and a Battered Housewife/Redneck.<--THIS IS BLOODY PERFECT.
    We Might Need More Guns <--OH. YES. I LOVE THIS ONE TOO. OMG.
    How to Survive Puberty with No Parents, No Electricity, No Running Water, and Oh Yeah Nuclear Fallout is Pretty Much Everywhere So Get Your Arses into the Forest Like Now <--do they make titles this long? though this is sexy.
    you're allowed to invent a genre bc you are Mich

    -Sam Lupin

  3. #1: 'Procrastination."
    I'll get to the others sometime.

  4. The End of the World, Sort Of rocks my socks. I would have to actually write something to need to write titles so for all I know I'm really good at it (my brain pumps out metaphors like no tomorrow). My play for theater class was titles Dis/order: A Play Not Otherwise Specified...

  5. This is a really cool idea Mich haha, I love it and your answers too. The book sounds amazing.

  6. I spontaneously liked No. 10, sort of.

  7. I never have trouble with titles. I have trouble with editors who take my titles off of my stuff and replace them with their own.

    BTW, "We Might Need More Guns" would certainly catch my eye and make me at least pick it up and look at it.

  8. Heh, I just saw Mark complete this quiz too.

    I'm a starving graduate now myself. We're someone alike.

  9. The Title of this comment is: French Fry Spaghetti Oh's Dance Dance Leprechaun

    I take titles seriously, so let me tell you-- okay I couldn't even type that with a straight face, titles are the lamest things in books as far as I'm concerned, but unfortunately they can be the most important part of advertizing, and since thats important, I have the best way to make up a title.

    Use one from another book! ie:

    Twilight Apocolypse
    Moby Dick Apocolypse
    Fifty Shades of Apocolypse

    or if you wanna forget the book motif you could use my favourite!

    My Little Apocolypse

    1. My Little Apocalypse needs to be a thing like now. I have a new mission.

  10. Oh my goodness, I loved this! Talk about intriguing. Give me more!


We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.