Sunday, February 23, 2014

Choosing a Story's Title

10 Second Tip: 
Choosing a Story's Title

----- Original Message -----
Do you have a tutorial on how to decide the Title for your story?
-- Nervous Beginner

When I can't decide on a title, I fall back on how the professionals do it.

  • One word is considered ideal for a title.
  • No more than Three words, preferably Two.
  • You can have Four if the word is 'And,' 'The,' 'A,' or something similar.

Okay, so what type of words should you use?

  • One word should represent the Genre.
Any other words should represent:
  • the Emotion the story is trying to invoke
  • a Character
  • an Action
  •   a Location

Star Trek (genre + emotion)
Grimm (Genre & Emotion in one word.)
Once Upon a Time (Genre)
The Addams Family (Name = Genre + Emotion)
 'Addams' IS a genre because the name has been recognized and associated with "spooky" since the 1930s when the comic first appeared in 'New Yorker Magazine.'
Deep Space 9 (Genre = Location)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Character + Genre + Action)
House (Name = Genre) It's the name of a Doctor.
Wizard of Oz (Genre + Location)
Assassin's Creed (Genre + Emotion)
Walking Dead (Genre)
Nightmare Before Christmas (Genre + Emotion + Genre)
Legend of Zelda (Genre + Character)
Despicable Me (Genre + Character)
Tron (Genre)
The Matrix (Genre)
Lord of the Rings (Genre + Character) The One Ring is a Character.

There is No Wrong Way to create a Title.

This is merely how the professionals do it.

If you choose to create your title some other way, DO IT. Just because the pros do it this way does NOT Invalidate how you chose your title. After all, it's YOUR Story.

Though be warned, if you get your story published by one of the big publishing houses, and your chosen title doesn't suit their Marketing needs, they will very likely Change your title.

They did it to me -- Twice!


Morgan Hawke

No comments:

Post a Comment