Monday, September 29, 2008

Funday Monday!

Picking a title

Picking a title for your story is almost as hard as writing it (notice I said almost.) The title needs to grab the reader and have him/her scratching their heads wanting to read the inner circle of words that is making this story so compelling that it has the quirky title that it bears.

Short titles with a slant work well. I mean how many people read To Kill a Mockingbird only to find out it wasn’t about mockingbirds? But the title grabbed you enough to pick it up right? Do you judge a book by its cover? Of course you do, that is another reason you picked it up. Let’s try to aim for four to six words with your title.

Go to your local bookstore or library and look at the titles that grab you. Pull the book out and examine the cover. It will help if you are looking in the genre in which you yourself are writing. Sometimes titles in a cookbook aisle will feed the title for your mystery. "Dice it and Slice it" would be a quirky murder mystery title found after searching through the cookbook titles.

Keeping the buyer in mind and what your reader is looking for will help you in picking just the right title too. Make your reader a part of the title. Knowing the type of gal or guy that you are targeting will help in defining the perfect title. A romance wouldn’t need a title like "Fire Bomber" maybe "Pop Tart" for the elusive flirty woman in the romance? The secret woman within all of us perhaps? "Loose Lips, Lose Lovers". Ahh, the ever lovely alliteration for a title. It must be the poet in me who likes this one.

Whatever the case may be, choose a title wisely. Make it short and sweet, with the ability to roll right off the readers tongue making them want to see what is lurking inside that they MUST read!

Funday Monday Word day ~

felicitate ~ [fi-lis-i-teyt]
1. to compliment upon a happy event; congratulate.
2. Archaic. to make happy.

doggerel ~ [daw –gruhl]
comic or burlesque, and usually loose or irregular in measure.
rude; crude; poor.

gadfly ~ [gad-flahy]
1. any of various flies, as a stable fly or warble fly, that bite or annoy domestic animals.
2. a person who persistently annoys or provokes others with criticism, schemes, ideas, demands, requests, etc.

rhetoric ~ [ret-er-ik]
1. (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display;
2. the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
3. the study of the effective use of language.


Anonymous said...

This is a very pertinent topic, Joni. I think many times there is a tendency for the writer to overlook the title in favor of perfecting the story.

Good advice on how to go about deciding on a title.

Oh, I like the little "word day" idea. I'm always one to read those.

I'm not sure whether they stick, but they are fun to read.


joni said...

I love words and am always looking for the 'easier' ones that we can remember. (hey, we ain't getting any younger) lol

And the title is just as hard as writing the dang novel/story. Sheesh what a field to get into, eh?

I LOVE IT! :-)

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