Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rules for Finding the Title to Your Story

Finding the title of your short story, novella or novel can be frustrating and difficult. 
It took me several months of trying to finally arrive at the title Seraphym Wars. There are certain guidelines that help and bloggers have suggestions all the time. So I’m going to throw in my two-cent’s worth.

  1. Look at titles from your genre in the bookstore and online (Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com). Jot down your favorites.

  1. Keep it short and simple – one to three words works best. You may use a subtitle, but it’s not a requirement.

  1. Create a list of as many titles as you can think of that relate to your story’s theme, genre, characters, plot, setting (especially if you world-built). Use a thesaurus.

  1. Survey family and friends to choose their favorite three titles from your list. Narrow the list and resurvey until you have about five to choose from.

  1. Make sure it relates to the genre of your story.

  1. Use the title in conversation. Create a title page. How does it look and sound? If you don’t like it, change it. (I went through about four titles)

  1. Create a mock-up book jacket. Place the title on the spine and front. How does it look? Try this with the other four until you find one that displays well.

  1. Try using this link but don’t rely completely on it; use your own judgment. 

  2. http://www.lulu.com/titlescorer/index.php (mine got a ‘22.9% chance of being a bestselling title!’ Which was the highest ANY of my suggestions got.)
What are some of the best titles you’ve come up with for stories?
What are some you came up with but didn’t use because they didn’t fit at the time?

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