Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, now with Titles!

stopwatch graphicFriday again, and not a moment too soon. I think we should celebrate. I recommend Writing Sprints. Or cake. Both good choices.

Everyone knows you need to warm up before sprinting, so let’s wake up our creativity with a few minutes of Title Improv.

As any number of the Eight Ladies would agree, finding just the right title for your story can be a major source of frustration. How do you encapsulate your plot, give the reader an idea of what to expect, and entice someone to pick up your book over all the other options that are out there? It’s a pretty big challenge.

Perusing my TBR pile, I see that one way authors are approaching the problem is by coming up with a title that is very close to a common phrase, with just a few modifications.

For example:

“the girl is mine” became “The Earl is Mine” in a recent book by Kieran Kramer

Suzanne Enoch turned the “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” quote about Lord Byron into “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous in Plaid”

“A rose by any other name” was “A Rogue by Any Other Name” for Sarah MacLean

I could keep going, but I’m sure you get the idea.

So, now it’s your turn.

  1. Think of a well-known phrase/quote/etc. and see what kind of titles you can come up with.
  2. For bonus points include a sentence or two about the story that would go with the title.
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

Ready? Go!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Ah, you’re back. Kind of fun, right? Can’t wait to see what you have come up with.

Now that you’re all warmed up, time to start sprinting.

As a reminder, the goal is to flex your writing skills and to jump start your creativity. It’s all about getting words on the page, not getting the perfect words on the page, so pull out that pen/paper, computer, or whatever your writing implements of choice are, and Write.

  1. Set a time period (i.e., 15 minutes)
  2. Write
  3. When you’re done, note your progress in the comments  (i.e., “15 minutes and 394 words”)
  4. Rinse and repeat

I’ll be sprinting at lunch time. I hope to see some great word counts and titles in the comments to motivate my own efforts.

Happy writing to all.

14 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints, now with Titles!

  1. To get the ball rolling, here’s my title offering:

    Viscount Pauper’s Lonely Hearts Club – It’s heart-wrenching tale about a group of low-on-funds aristocrats, bound together by their inability to snare a wealthy heiress to redeem the family fortunes.

    Stand by Your Marquess is book 3 in the Lonely Hearts Club series.

    • I like those, Elizabeth!

      I love Patricia Gaffney’s titles To Love and To Cherish, To Have and To Hold, For Ever and Ever. And Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles are chess-related: The Game of Kings, Queen’s Play, Checkmate, which suits the books perfectly.

      I’ll be out and about for the next few hours but I’m going to give this some thought. Will post my best effort + a sprint or maybe two later.

      • Okay, I think I’m going for Saturday Night Reiver, a swashbuckling historical kilts ‘n corsets romp of a fair maid in the English borders kidnapped by a brawny Highland cattle raider 😉

  2. Quotes can be tough — there’s a quote of the day at Goodreads, and you can skim backwards until you find one that speaks to you. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes_of_the_day/1754

    “I’m a poet, and I like my lies the way my mother used to make them.”
    ― Aleister Crowley, Moonchild

    OMG, is that THE Aleister Crowley? The black magician?

    Anyway, I could go with . . . “Not Your Mother’s Seance.” or “My Mother Was a Camera” (huh, where did that come from? Could I work with it? Could Bunny’s grandmother be possessing the camera?) Or, “Magical Disasters, Just Like Mother Used to Make”. Although, Bunny’s mother was a rebel who wanted nothing to do with family magic. She just wanted a normal life, and dreaded coming home to magic circles or strange things brewing in the laundry tub.

    (-: Hee-hee, what fun. I’ll see if I can squeeze in a writing sprint later.

  3. I love the titles. I’ve been too busy, head down, trying to get some way towards the public target I set myself for September (as there isn’t very long left) to do a title (unless I get a second wind this evening) but I have done a barnstorming (for me) total of 3377 words in various bursts throughout the day. It’s been a pretty rubbish week for writing, so I am remarkably happy about this!

  4. Title: Paperback Rider
    Logline: “Liberty Valance” crossed with “Book of Eli”
    Synopsis: Cultured-but-manly itinerant librarian-on-horseback drifts into a town where he wins the heart of the too-brilliant-for-cows farm girl… and the enmity of the thug who had his eye on her.

  5. Title: Fallen In Love
    Logline: “Paradise Lost” meets “City of Angels”
    Synopsis: Lucifer finds his redemption in a shopkeeper whose naivete (or Zen-like simplicity?) makes her proof against his wiles.

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