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« Book Promotion: Show, Don’t Tell | Main | Claude Nougat: Writing in Every Language »
Thursday
Sep222011

Part 2: From Good Title to GREAT with Natalie C. Markey (Plus drawing on Writing Moms class!)

By Diane Holmes, Chief Alchemist at Pitch U

Today, we’re going to look at two additional techniques for exploring titles that ZING!

  • Archetypes, Myths, and Patterns and story types. (Ex: Warrior Writer Mom)
  • Popular Culture for $300. (If Richard Castle Had to Breastfeed it would be a Different Show)

Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind In Part 1 of our series on taking a perfectly good title and and giving it zing, Natalie brainstormed NEW(!) and IMPROVED(!) titles for her upcoming class, Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind.

About Writing Moms: For many writers, juggling is reality. In fact, many full-time writers are made because of a child being born. Some amazing mothers write late at night, around their day job.

However you do it, being a writing mom is a challenge but very doable and rewarding.

Learn easy self study tactics, time management tips and suggestions from a ten-year freelance journalist, published author and speaker who also has a one-year-old daughter and a high maintenance dog. You can have it all without losing your mind.

winner-illustration1Go sign up for this class.  It’s only $20.00.  Natalie’s a sweetheart, and you’ll come up with a personalized plan.  Good job.

BONUS: Natalie will award FREE ENROLLMENT to one commenter (in this post or any in this series). Thanks, Natalie!

Archetypes, Myths, and Patterns and story types. (Ex: Warrior Writer Mom)

Let’s start by looking at how other authors have used archetypes to inspire their titles.  Here are some more examples:

Diane’s How-It-Works Example (working with the Mother Archetype): "Writer Moms: Kiss your Writing Time and Make it Better." 

Natalie Tries It Out:

  • What if Xena was a single mom juggling her “saving the world” career? How did she make that work?
  • What if Queen Elizabeth did have a child while running England?

Natalie: The point I'm trying to make with these is that everyone can have circumstances that can weigh them down. It's how you handle and approach the obstacle that brings you out on top and helps you accomplish your dream.

And I love "What if" titles.  I've always found them thought provoking.

Diane: Okay, let's take these titles one step further! Let's brainstorm variations featuring writers for a more direct tie-in.  You'll notice we're taking a left turn here and leaving our original "archetype" category behind.  Left turns can lead to genius, so it's okay.

  • Shakespeare Had it Easy:  Writing with Kids
  • How to be Jane Austen with Children, a Husband, a Messy House, and Serious Writing Deadline

Natalie:  Great!

  • How to Plot like Dan Brown “Da Vinci Code” Style While Balancing those Gerber Items on your Grocery List ( I personally love this one)
  • How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse (while writing that bestselling novel and making bottles Good Morning America ends)- Are you tired yet?

Popular Culture for $300. (Ex: If Richard Castle Had to Breastfeed it would be a Different Show)

Again, let’s start with how other authors were inspired to use this technique in their titles.

Diane’s How-It-Works Example: XENA Warrior Princess Writer And Her Baby And her Complicated Life. (Kinda silly, I know!)

Natalie, Trying It Out:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer also starred on 16 and Pregnant ( I thought that was funny, BUT not best for my class but fun)
  • The Baby Games (the play on the Hunger Games title, popular now in pop culture. Sometimes being a writing mom can feel like you're thrown into an arena, battling to the death against everything you must do!)
  • C.S.I.- Creative. Solution. Implementation.- You don't have to take off your sunglasses (hehe!) to find a new, productive ways to accomplish your writing goals. Take some time to study yourself. This really hits home with the goal of the workshop while playing on some pop culture.
  • Glee- Slurping (Slushy-ing) your way to the NY Times Best Seller list in between those bottle feedings. Another great summary of a writing moms life and speaks to the class’ message of making the most of your non-baby duty times.
  • Writing like the stars- look at these other celebrity moms, you can do it too! Inspiration never fails!

Diane: Same here.  Let’s explore linking more directly to writing references (your audience) and see what happens.

  • Get a Devil Wears Prada Life Only with Burp Rags- Getting the Big City Writing Career you Want While Working from Your Baby's Nursery 
  • Desperate House Writers- How to do it all without hanging out that dirty laundry.
  • Writing Mommy Makeovers: Transform your life, desk and nursery into a successful writing mommy enterprise. (I love this one)
  • Author Idol: Find your writing dream while being the mom you want to be

What If You Get Stuck?

Let's look at some variations, because continuing to play and tinker is much better than being stuck. :)

- How to Plot like Dan Brown Davinci Code Style While Balancing those Gerber Items on your Grocery List 

Now, try playing with each element to see if there's anything you like even more.  For example...

  • How to write your Da Vinci Code while burping a baby.
  • How to be the next Dan Brown and still be Mother of the year.
  • How to Plot Your Own Da Vinci Code While Chasing a Toddler. (I like this because I do talk about plotting/outlining during baby time, yep, I've done both)
  • How to channel both Da Vinci Code and Geber without losing your mind.

- How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse while writing that bestselling novel and making bottles Good Morning America ends- Are you tired yet?

Now, try playing with each element to see if there's anything you like even more.  For example...

  • How to survive the collision of writer meets new Mommy without it becoming the next Zombie Apocalypse, (Very true to course. You may come from a business background like I did BUT this is a whole new ballgame and gives a whole new meaning to time management.)
  • Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse Is Easy; Why Writing and Motherhood Requires a True Hero

- Get a Devil Wears Prada Life Only with Burp Rags- Getting the Big City Writing Career you Want While Working from Your Baby's Nursery   (Love this subtitle, by the way)

Again, just playing with elements:

  • Bestselling Author Action Figure (Burp rag accessory optional) - could also replace with other baby accessories
  • The Devil May Wear Prada, but Real Authors come with burp rags, laundry, and <need something clever here!>.

- Desperate House Writers- How to do it all without hanging out that dirty laundry.

 

Playing with the subtitles: 

  • how to do it all without drama.
  • Career, Baby, and the White Picket Fence

- Writing Mommy Makeovers: Transform your life, desk and nursery into a successful writing mommy enterprise.

(Natalie: I love this one) Diane: **THIS IS EXCELLENT!!!** Natalie: This is my favorite too! :-)

 

-Author Idol: Find your writing dream while being the mom you want to be

  • Author Survivor: Suburbia
  • Project Reality Writer

Additional Title from Natalie:

  • How to write the next Twilight while prepping for a PTA meeting. (I like adding a YA element since that is so hot right now and all kids are challenging. This doesn't just have to be about babies.)

Which Titles Do You Love?  Which Do You Hate?

We’ve come up with some really bad titles, and some really good ones.  Give us your opinion in the comments!

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