How do you do "Titles"?
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    Not A Piece of Cake Bubble Frog's Avatar
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    Default How do you do "Titles"?

    I'm referring to chapter titles and your fanfiction's story title. How do you do it? I've ran into stories that simply go with the "one word" chapter titles, and stories that go all out on the length of a title. There are even stories that do pun chapter titles.

    So, how do you guys do yours and what do you prefer of other peoples' titles? I'm probably one in a million here, but I actually like Pun-Titles, when they're clever. I actually have some pun titles planned out for future chapters of my fics. Pokemon Anime for example, I actually liked quite a few of the pun titles because they were clever, for example off the top of my head Casting a Paul on Barry!, Snivy Plays Hard to Catch!, A Fishing Connoisseur in a Fishy Competition!, Facing Fear With Eyes Wide Open!, Journey To The Unown!, A Crasher Course in Power!, Steeling Peace Of Mind!, The Eighth Wonder of the Sinnoh World!. Plus puns aren't so "generic" so to speak, I mean like naming a chapter where two friends fight, "Trust".

    What route do you go?

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    Captain of Tao Midorikawa's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    I like titles that tell what that chapter is about, but trying to make them into a joke as well.

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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    I like short but simple titles that aren't always puns. Like Robotech/Macross's first episode being "Booby Trap" where the alien ship rebuilt on Earth activates in response to an approaching enemy vessel, spring the booby trap. Or "Gundam Rising" for Mobile Suit Gundam's first episode. Obviously, the Gundam is activated and put to use.

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    CEO of the Monsters Lugion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    Depends. Sometimes I don't even name chapter. When I do, it's usually just something related to the content of the chapter (e.g., in the chapter The Grass is Always Greener, from Dragon Ball Legacy, the gang confronts a Namekian (which are green) who has the next Dragon Ball). In fact, I have two sets of chapter titles for DBL: one regular, and one Anime-style (Statement/Exclamation! Affirmation; for example, the alternate title for the aforementioned chapter is Guardian of the Six-Star Ball! Poya, of the Dragon Clan.

    I'm thinking for my upcoming Pokemon fic, I'm going to go with the Anime-style, just for fun. :P

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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    Pun titles makes me facepalm, unless the story itself is comedy or satire. I generally disapprove of titles directly and openly stating whatever the chapter/episode is all about in the way that the anime (in its Japanese iteration) often stoops to... and sometimes I even wonder why we bother with titles (in a figurative sense, I know why, I just find it... interesting).

    The base line for title usage is, to me, that they should fit the tone of the story. A general story, like your average journey fic, might go with simple titles relating to the chapter, but not necessarily Fight! Ash vs Burgh! or something straight-forward like that; what @matt0044; is what I'm thinking of. Or something like the episodes of House MD which are often just a short quote from the episode. A philosophical story might go with a cleverly devised title that brings forth pondering regarding its relation to the chapter content. A dark, suspenseful, story might go with one-word titles that gives a sense of foreboding without telling.

    You get my gist. Adapt title usage to the kind of story you're writing.
    "People like you and me overcame the Neanderthals. People like you and me overcame the Ice Age"

    "You can hold [the brain] in the palm of your hands - and it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space"

    "Along some paths of cosmic discovery there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves"

    The Symphony of Science; a tribute to the marvels of science and nature.


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    Your mind is a world AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    In Locked in Battle I used/use (lordy I need to get around to finishing that fic) quick one or two word chapter titles that gave a gist of what the chapter was about. In Unpredictable I forgo chapter titles completely except in the table of contents where I just use very straightforward, literal titles like "Pewter City," or "Keith vs. Erika." I feel like those are more useful when someone is attempting to read through my fic and can't remember where they left off. "Was it Chapter 32 or 23? Oh yeah, they had just got to Fuchsia City."

    Like Llamabro pointed out, they should fit the story. Puns only really work for lighthearted fics, for example. The sequel to Unpredictable will be very introspective and philosophical (at least, that's what I hope it will be), so I'm going to use more vague titles that provide insight into the story, like calling the first chapter "Journey's End," the irony of which is important to the purpose of the plot.

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    Not A Piece of Cake Bubble Frog's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    Quote Originally Posted by AetherX View Post
    Like Llamabro pointed out, they should fit the story. Puns only really work for lighthearted fics, for example. The sequel to Unpredictable will be very introspective and philosophical (at least, that's what I hope it will be), so I'm going to use more vague titles that provide insight into the story, like calling the first chapter "Journey's End," the irony of which is important to the purpose of the plot.
    I respectfully disagree. I know quite a bit of popular "darker" fics that use puns as well, they aren't really light-hearted in the slightest. One of them managed nearly over 120 comments and reviews in 18 chapters. I don't quite understand the stigma that says "puns = light-hearted fic", it's just a case of the writer going for something more clever and witty imo.

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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotpika
    Plus puns aren't so "generic" so to speak, I mean like naming a chapter where two friends fight, "Trust".
    Quote Originally Posted by Gotpika
    I don't quite understand the stigma that says "puns = light-hearted fic", it's just a case of the writer going for something more clever and witty imo.
    By your definition here, yes, a darker fic can have puns. Heck, most titles could be considered puns then. But, see, I don't consider it a pun unless it's amusing, or funny. Your example here, while possible a play on words, isn't straightforward amusing or funny, and thus, to me, not a pun. Nor does it have an obvious double meaning as much as it has an ironic tone to it, and if you strip away the amusing and double meaning, then it's no longer a pun.

    What's this fic you're talking about? Would be nice to see some good examples of this. But remember, play on words =/= pun.
    Last edited by TheLlama; 19th June 2012 at 09:44 AM.
    "People like you and me overcame the Neanderthals. People like you and me overcame the Ice Age"

    "You can hold [the brain] in the palm of your hands - and it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space"

    "Along some paths of cosmic discovery there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves"

    The Symphony of Science; a tribute to the marvels of science and nature.


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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    I personally prefer the "Reference to Something that Also Has Something to Do With The Episode" Approach--it may be a pun on a song, a movie title, a quote, another anime, or even the Pokemon world itself, but at the same time, hints at what will happen in that episode.

    Lately though, I've been leaning towards the anime style approach with this-- "Basic gist of the episode! Interesting event that happens in this episode!"
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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    I try to be descriptive of what happens in the chapter/episode, or if a new major character is introduced, I try to sum them up in a few words.

    For example, Chapter 1 of my old story was titled "Just a City Girl" and it (obviously) introduced the main character, who was just that. She was just a simple city girl who had very little knowledge of the world outside of her hometown. Whereas Chapter 5, titled "Prepare for Trouble!" introduced Team Rocket.

    I'm not a big fan of the pun titles and is one of my minor nitpicks about the show. Looking through my tentative chapter titles that I had planned for later in the series, the only one I could really find was "Alice in Winter Land", which was too good to pass up. I mean, I can live with pun titles, but they just don't do anything for me.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

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    Not A Piece of Cake Bubble Frog's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama_Guy View Post
    By your definition here, yes, a darker fic can have puns. Heck, most titles could be considered puns then. But, see, I don't consider it a pun unless it's amusing, or funny. Your example here, while possible a play on words, isn't straightforward amusing or funny, and thus, to me, not a pun.
    Well that's your opinion, but they are play on words or wordy references to things while referencing the episode itself and I think a few are clever.
    Nor does it have an obvious double meaning as much as it has an ironic tone to it, and if you strip away the amusing and double meaning, then it's no longer a pun.
    I'm not sure which one of my examples you're referring to.

    What's this fic you're talking about? Would be nice to see some good examples of this. But remember, play on words =/= pun.
    Well, I don't exactly know the "specific" definition of puns XP But, do you mind me linking the fic? It's a pretty in depth and deep fic story a bit on the long side with some "dark" things in it(Sickness, Depression, Death, A lil' bit of dark humor :p) but despite that it does have some pretty clever pun titles. Because, like you said, they can work for light-hearted fics or dark fics.

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    ポケモン Tsutarja's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    I use symbolic titles whenever I can, titles that define the theme of the whole chapter or merely serve as a metaphor for that theme. I sometimes use titles for mere foreshadowing, so yes, I like unique (sometimes short) titles that will draw the reader into the story. Strangely enough, I also like the plain "Iris VS Shaga! Dragon Master Battle!!" titles for some reason, haha, must have gotten that from our lovable anime. ^^


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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    As an example of my style:

    Lets suppose I was writing an episode where a character is training a bird Pokemon to fly through rings (like how Ash got Swellow in AG), but they're having a rough time of it. So I would call the episode "Bored of the Rings". It is simultaneously a pun on Lord of the Rings, and a hint at my character's frustrations
    My URPG stats: Maya's status

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    Reality is a dream TheLlama's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    @Gotpika; I quoted your example

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotpika
    Plus puns aren't so "generic" so to speak, I mean like naming a chapter where two friends fight, "Trust".
    And the definition was my opinion, but it wasn't that far removed from the actual definition of a pun:

    From the Oxford Dictionary:


    The "trust" example isn't a pun because it isn't a play on the word "trust". It merely alludes to the irony of two friends who trusted each other now having to fight, and so is an ironic statement, not a pun.

    And yes, I asked you to link to the fic, so please do.
    "People like you and me overcame the Neanderthals. People like you and me overcame the Ice Age"

    "You can hold [the brain] in the palm of your hands - and it can contemplate the vastness of interstellar space"

    "Along some paths of cosmic discovery there are times when, at least for now, one must be content to love the questions themselves"

    The Symphony of Science; a tribute to the marvels of science and nature.


  15. #15
    Not A Piece of Cake Bubble Frog's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you do "Titles"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Llama_Guy View Post
    @Gotpika; I quoted your example

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotpika
    Plus puns aren't so "generic" so to speak, I mean like naming a chapter where two friends fight, "Trust".
    And the definition was my opinion, but it wasn't that far removed from the actual definition of a pun:

    From the Oxford Dictionary:


    The "trust" example isn't a pun because it isn't a play on the word "trust". It merely alludes to the irony of two friends who trusted each other now having to fight, and so is an ironic statement, not a pun.

    And yes, I asked you to link to the fic, so please do.
    "Trust" wasn't the example. I was referring "Trust" to the "puns aren't so "generic so to speak" part, as in I'm saying "Trust" sounded pretty cliched for a title.

    Okay, here ya go.

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