Creative Writing Warm Up Activity: Embrace the Title

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):

3 thoughts on “Creative Writing Warm Up Activity: Embrace the Title

    • I was in a band in high school, and we played 2 songs and named the band most practice sessions. In college, we had 40 names because we didn’t care, and played dozens of songs. I find that you can start with a title, but unless you are a genius, it’s hard to end with the same one. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah I was in a garage band or two… never really made it beyond that. But I do remember fantasizing about names that never would be! “The Standing Waves.” “SinTax.” and as a joke… “Mike Audit and the Tax Evaders!” 😁 This was the 80s. All very 80s names… 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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