"Published author, aspiring novelist . . . welcome to my world of madness!"

Sep 21, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit:

The following is an excerpt from Whispering Hollow, a short story in the works.

The poets of the world will tell you true love is a blessing; the greatest gift man can ever receive. But let me tell you that’s a lie, a cruel and vicious web of deceit the romantic-at-heart weave. No amount of sirens’ songs or pretty words can cover the truth: Love, true love especially, is a curse. It will pull you under its churning waves and strip you of all your senses—both physical and mental. Love robs a man of all he has and leaves him bereft, abandoned on some isolated shore from which there is no escape.

I buried my beloved Chloe a mere month ago along with the broken and desolate shards of my sanity. My heart lay as cold and dead as she, and as I watched the last clumps of dirt rain over her casket, I didn’t know if I should weep with bitter relief or cave beneath the immense burden of grief and guilt. I had watched her hang for her sins, knowing her crimes were no worse than mine. I had watched, and in those moments that ticked by like an unspent eternity, I had felt glee. Even as her tongue lolled and her body twitched in the final throes of death, I rejoiced.

Today, she came back . . .

Sep 1, 2010

Titles: A Rose is NOT Just a Rose!

First impressions die hard. Here, we will discuss the importance of titles and how to make yours shine.


Bait & Hook:  So, you’ve finally penned that masterpiece. Every word is flawless and in order. Now, it needs a title. This may seem trivial and easy compared to the rest of the process, but not so fast! This phase is too important to slap something up in haste.

Titles are the calling cards of a story.  Most readers will glance over titles before deciding which ones to read. I do it myself, and a boring title can guarantee it will sit on the shelf or remain unopened. With time being a precious commodity, it’s only natural that we would pick the items that hold the most interest and sound exciting.

Titles often give clues about what to expect inside. This is your first chance to reach out and connect with your target audience. Appeal to their interest, play on the strong suits of your story. Use genre to your benefit. Dynamic titles captivate readers and draw them in to the point that they often open up a book or story and start skimming it on the spot. It doesn’t matter how fantastic the opening hook is if your title doesn’t prompt anyone to start reading! Editors often make changes to titles; many times right up until publication day. They do this to make sure it is as marketable and appealing as possible.

  •  Make sure the title makes sense in connection with your story. Don’t mislead your readers or trick them. They will remember that in the future. If your title speaks of hardship and heartbreak, make sure the story does as well!  ;)  That is, unless it's satire.


Now That the Story is Done: If you’ve written the story and still have no idea what to name it, all is not lost. Good titles are many times taken from the body itself! 
  • Look for a key phrase or theme that sums up what your story, play, poem, or book is about.

  • Reread your material. Keep your eyes open for any catchy phrases, questions, sentences, or expressions that hold special appeal. These sparkling gems can help you create some great titles!

  • Browse through other titles. Examine what catches your attention and why. Build off these observations and use them to your advantage!

Titles can also help lead us into other ideas. You may come up with several dazzling headliners before settling on the perfect one. Don’t pitch that scrap heap into the garbage. Think about some of the lines you’ve created and see if any stories can be built around them. Sometimes a few simple words can be deeply inspiring. You may be surprised to find you have your very own list of prompts!

Be on the Look Out and Have Fun!: Make a game out of your title search. Most writers are observant by nature. No matter where we are, our eyes and minds are always searching for new ideas and inspirations, ways to put fresh spins on concepts. Include your title hunts in these quests. You may be surprised by what you come up with. Everything around us offers a small glimmer of potential. Utilize these tools to your advantage.

Types of Titles:

Punch line
VIP names


Your title is the very first impression you will make on a reader. Don’t sell yourself short. Think of it as the frosting on a cake. You know the inside ingredients are good, so make sure the outside is just as appealing. Take the time to be creative and wise in your choices, and the rest will fall in place!

~Best wishes and happy writing!~