Monday, February 09, 2009

Title Ten

Ten Things to Help With Titles

Freeware caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.

One of my titling tricks: go to's verse home page and enter a key or concept word from your story into the search box (leave the field box set to search all verse.) The site will give you a list of all poems that contain your key/concept word; read some and see how the poet used them. For example, I entered the word midnight and got Walt Whitman's In Midnight Sleep, Fitz-Greene Halleck's Marco Bozzaris, and 372 other results.

The Bonsai Story Generator will take the text you cut and paste into the box and recombine it in funny, weird and very interesting ways, so load in some of your story keywords or text and see what happens.

Sami Pyƶrre's Everchanging Book of Names is a shareware name generator program you can customize.

Samuel Stoddard's Fantasy Name Generator page has two interfaces to play with and produces some very decent name/title idea lists.

MODPlug Random Song Title/Band Name Generator produced a lot of silly stuff, so it would be perfect if you need a title for a farce or a satire. A few interesting combos popped up now and then, too: Dangerous Legends, Submersible Time, and Undoubtedly Creeping.

Maygra's Random Title Generator gives you six titles for every click (good ideas for romance, erotica, fantasy and SF titles here.)

Cut and paste some text from your story into the Robopoem poetry generator, choose your cadence, and (like the Bonsai Story Generator) it will recombine the words into verse that is rich with title possibilities.

Manon over at Serendipity has a fantasy novel title generator already set up for you to play with, but I like using words and phrases gleaned from the Interesting Site Generator for ideas, too.

Seventh Sanctum's page of name generators has something to inspire just about every sort of title hunter. I particularly like the realm name generator for interesting word combos.

Thinkmap's Visual Thesaurus is free to try online, and offers synonyms in an unusual visual format that may have you making some different word associatiosn for your title ideas.


  1. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Are you reading my mind? I was just about to post a blog complaining about my inability to generate satisfying titles. Thanks for this.

  2. Anonymous7:52 PM

    Thank you for the list.

  3. oookay, I tried one of the title generators and I don't know.."Rapier of Lust" just sounds really wrong.

    Lynn, I'm a bit curious, have you used a title from one of these sites for your books? and if so which ones?

    p.s. thanks for the Thesaurus one!

  4. Anonymous10:01 PM

    Thanks for these tips! I've got a novella anthology and had a simple one word title where the theme matches but it's a little different for each of them, but haven't come up with a name for the entire thing. This might help a lot, at least to help me brainstorm in the right direction, Thanks!


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