Tuesday 31 July 2012

Tips for the Perfect Title

A few weeks ago, I blogged about making a dummy book for my picture book "I'm Just a Home Child" (see "Cutting and Pasting") to imagine what the finished product might look like.  Now, I have started passing my book around to my daughter and her friends to read (my target audience is ages 6 to 9).  So far, they have been polite and said they liked it.  However, I did receive one piece of constructive criticism from one girl who said she didn't like the title. 

I had already been considering changing the existing title to something with the name "Daisy" since she is my main character.  So far, I've had the following suggestions:

1.  I'm Daisy
2.  Daisy's World
3.  Daisy the Home Child
4.  Daisy's Life
5.  The Diary of Daisy

I like these alternatives.  I decided to google "How to Choose a Title for Your Story" and here are the suggestions I found:


1.  Google It.  Check the internet to see if your title is original.

2.  Maximize your Choices.  Make a list of at least 5 titles before choosing one.  Ask family and friends for their input.

3.  Don't Forget Voice and Point of View.  If your story is written in the third person a title like "My Summer Vacation" would be inappropriate.

4.  Use Precise Nouns and Active Verbs.  Fors instance, "Desire Under the Elms" works much better than "Love Under the Trees".

5.  Craft Two Meanings.  When you read a book, the reader derives a second, hidden meaning from the title.  Examploes of this are Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and John Cheever's "The Swimmer".

6.  Avoid Sabotaging the Plot.  Your title should not give away the plot.

7.  Title and Story Must Match.  You may start writing your story with one title but realize afterwards that it no longer fits.

8.  Your First Opportunity to Stand Out in the Slush Pile.  Make it distinctive but not distracting so that the potential editor wants to read the manuscript or the potential reader says:  "What a fantastic title!  Why didn't I think of that?"

Source:  www.writersdigest.com.

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