Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Exercise: Borrowed Working Titles

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Here’s a variation on last week’s writing exercise.
Instead of using a “cliched” title or phrase, use the title from one of your favorite books or authors. Of course, you must write a totally different story than the one associated with your chosen title, but that can be half the fun. For example, you might want to rewrite a favorite story but with your own ideas about what the characters would do. Or, perhaps you want to continue a story where the author left off. Both are fine ways to start, but remember that you’ll need to go back and edit the characters so that they are yours, not your favorite author’s characters anymore. And, keep in mind, that means more than just changing the names!
Another possibility is to take a favorite title and write a story in a totally different genre. As an example, I love Ernest Hemingway and I think his titles are often quite evocative, but I love fantasy and science-fiction. So, perhaps “The Sun Also Rises” might be a good working title for a sci-fi epic! And, “The Old Man and the Sea” might take on some interesting connotations as a fantasy story filled with old gods and high magic.
The point here is to let your imagination run wild. This is meant to be an aid to creativity that gets you writing when you might have some trouble starting. As always, though, remember to change the title to your own and edit anything that doesn’t belong in your final work out before submitting your story for publication.

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