Choose A Conflict-Oriented Title
Since conflict is the heart of drama, you should be able to associate one of the following words with your title, and with every line and every scene of your story.
When you base your title on a conflict-word, the title itself tells the story and sells the piece: the log line is barely necessary.
Powerful conflict-evident titles include:
Ransom, Top-Gun, G.I. Jane, GodFather, Nuts, Sling-Blade, Kill Bill, Django Unchained, Indecent Proposal, Star Wars, Virgin Suicides, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Liar Liar, Bullets Over Broadway, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Wag The Dog, War Of The Worlds, Clear and Present Danger, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Gladiator, War Horse, Idiocracy, Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance, Devil's Advocate, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi, Revenge Of The Sith, Patriot Games, The Bodyguard, Conspiracy Theory, WarGames, Misissippi Burning, The Hiding Place, Rebel Without A Cause, GirlFight, Black Hawk Down, The Kiling Fields, The People vs. Larry Flynt, American Gangster, Monsters, Inc., etc.
As soon as you hear such a title, you know whether you want to see the film, because you can already feel the type and intensity of the conflict, the resolution of which is what you're tuning in to see.
If you're selling a story, you're selling conflict, in other words:
conflagration: blaze, burning,
fire, holocaust, inferno, war, wildfire
action, animosity, antagonism, argument,
battle, bout, brush, clash, collision, combat, competition,
contention, contest, controversy, difference, disagreement, discord, dispute,
dissension, duel, encounter, faction, fight, fray, friction, hostility,
melee, mutiny, opposition, rebellion, rebel, rift, scuffle,
strife, struggle, tug-of-war, war, warfare
conflict between two laws: antinomy
discrepancy, disparity, dissonance,
adverse, against the grain,
at cross purposes, at loggerheads, clashing, contradictory, contrary, discordant, in dispute, incompatible, inconsistent, opposing, warring
For extra points, use a conflict-word in your title, changing some small component: for instance:
|Deadlock||becomes||DadLock:|| a Dad fights to steal his kids back from their Step-Dad. |
|Self-defense||becomes||Elf-Defense:||Santa's elves fight to save Christmas.|