Many people have issues with figuring out a title for their work, and honestly, the title should be the last thing that you worry about. It’s the naming the band problem. If you sit around naming your band, your band isn’t playing music.
That stated, if you are trying to break yourself out of a rut and get your creative juices flowing, using a forced title could help you think of some ideas and force you out of the current workspace in your brain to somewhere new and different. By forcing the title first, it creates a set limit, a creativity cage you have to force yourself to work around.
What do I mean? I mean making a title before thinking of the story or poem that fits it. This isn’t a great practice for many creative things we do in life, but it’s a great activity to get you thinking creatively. I like using sites like “randomlists.com” to get me thinking. I would use their generator HERE and force myself to make a title from the results.
I generated 4 words (you can adjust the number) and my results: Rice, Rabbits, Carpentry, Monkeys. I take those words and make a title:
The Carved Monkey: Of Rice and Rabbits
On simple blocks of flat-cut wood, The coney seasoning kneaded in firm hands With pieces fresh sliced on the board ready To bake and soak with rice Within the cabinet is grasped A hewn monkey whose eyes gaze down With hunger it has never known As it greedily pierces the casserole To serve the meat of other beasts A monkey that never sates her hunger Is doomed to scrape from bowls And whisk the rabbits to final slumber.
And just like that, you have a weird and creative poem you would never have written! I took the four items, and I tried to construct them into a single poetic narrative. Anyway, now I have a poem called “The Carved Monkey” and my creative juices are flowing! Until next time everyone!
Download a classroom worksheet here (Click to download PDF):