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





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:

 
Dramatic
Punch line
Place
Trick
Catch-phrase
Short
Long
Musical
VIP names
Command
Happy
Scary
Sad
Question
Alliterative
Statement
Theme

 

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!~
Adriana

 

4 comments:

  1. Wow, beautiful looking blog, by a beautiful writer with a great post. Excellent and important information in this one, Adriana. Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  2. I stink at titles ... often. Sometimes they pop out from the beginning. Some don't.

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  3. I know what you mean. It's brutal trying to name our darlings, espeically after killing them! ;)

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  4. Hi. I just came over from Nicole's blog.

    Titles are so important. When people judge books by their covers, titles are part of that. Most of mine come up as I'm writing the first words.

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