Tips for Good Titles

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TIPS FOR GOOD TITLES

Notice that I didn't say something like: How to make a perfect title.

Because I can't tell you that.

What I CAN tell you are my tips for good book titles.

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1. Keep it short.

-I've seen so many stories on Wattpad with titles like: "I'm In Love With My Best Friends Brother, Oh, and He Happens to be a Vampire! OMG!" or "I'm Secretly Pregnant with Harry Styles' Baby and He has NO Idea!"

Well that's great. You just told us the whole story, now we don't have to go read it! Bravo! Way to NOT get readers who care about quality.

And seriously, do you see books with titles like that in the bookstores? No, and there's a reason. It's not professional. If you are wanting to be serious about writing and have people take your writing seriously, avoid titles like this.

If you look back at all of the stories I suggested in the "Wattpad Suggestions" chapter, you'll notice something similar about the titles.

They're all short!

This is what they are: (Trying to remember here...) The Unseen, Hey Beautiful, Eden, Paladin, and Decemberland.

Don't those names catch your attention more? So keep it short. The shorter, the more attention grabbing it'll be. I'm not saying it has to be one or two words like all of those, but don't go on and on in your title. It's a title, not a synopsis.

HOWEVER, there is a slight exception to this. Some writers can pull off longer titles and do well! Usually, though, these titles involve a sense of irony or wit. They DON'T involve telling us the entire plot or catch of your story. Also, by 'Long' I don't mean sentences upon sentences. I just mean five or so words, such as: "Mr. Player, you've Just Been Played" and "And Then There was Issac." Etc. Etc.

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2. Keep in Mind that it's the FIRST thing your readers will see.

-If you have a terrible title, it might turn readers off.

Remember the long title I mentioned a second ago? Yeah, I have yet to click on and read any book on here with a title like that. It turns me off. If their title is one long, run-on sentence, what on earth is their book going to be like? Long, run-on paragraphs? No thank you!

Your title can help bring in readers. If it's kind of a neutral title, many people won't really be disgusted or in love with it, they'll most likely just move on to the synopsis to get an idea for your book. A GREAT title though, can hook a reader in.

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3. Provide mystery .

Unless you're going for the humorous aspect to the title, you should probably follow this step. Especially if your story has no humor. Your story doesn't have to be a mystery for this to be used.

-I feel like this is the best way to capture someone's attention. With titles like "The Unseen," "Paladin," and "Decemberland," the author has you wondering what those even mean.

And by mystery, I don't mean: "I've been kidnapped by the vampire slave master, what am I going to do?" (That's not a good title at all. And yes, I've actually seen that.)

NOR do I mean that you should write nonsense like: "Abbaabpdoifaheafk Blue cow."  Yes, it'll confuse your reader and they'll wonder what it means. Well, either that or they'll think you made a typo. Avoid this kind of confusion! This isn't mysterious and cool, this is kinda dumb.

So what I'm saying is try and find something about your story that makes it unique, maybe even a cool character's name or even a hint at the plot, and make a title out of that nobody else would've made. Have you seen any other titles like those above? No. But I'm sure you've seen plenty of vague titles like: "Gone" or "Falling For You" or something with the word "player" in it. Be original. Be mysterious. Don't give away your whole plot in your title. Use a word that's unique about only your story.

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4. Keep it relative to your story.

-If you read any of the stories I suggested, you'll notice somewhere in the book how the title comes into play. Now, I'm not saying the title has to be in every sentence of your book, but at SOME point in your book we, as readers, should be able to nod and say, "Ah, now the title makes sense."

If you read the last point I made (#3) and some random, mysterious word popped into your head and you thought "Hey, I could name my book that!" then good. But, if it doesn't even have ANYTHING to do with your story, it's just a hook to get your readers in, please don't use it!

Don't name your story "Gone" if in the story there's nothing that's gone.

For example, in my own story "36 seconds," it is called that because she and this guy are stuck in an elevator for 36 seconds. :D So my title makes sense right away. Some, however, take the whole book to make sense, and that's fine.

5. Spellcheck and grammar.

-Please. I've seen so many stories on here with bad grammar or spelling in the title. It's the LEAST you can do, seriously. If you aren't sure, ask someone with more grammar experience. Most likely your title is only a few words, so don't mess it up! If you mess THAT up, then who knows what you'll do in your book?

6. Sounds and cool stuff like that.

Well, sometimes having similar sounding consonants at the beginning of each word can sound cool.

Example:

"Seven Slithering Serpents" 

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"Everyday Ellen."

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"Just Janet."

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"Farrah's Fate."

Do you get what I'm saying? If you're going with simple, less mysterious titles, you can try making it sound cool and thought out by having similar sounding consonants.

There are also other fun things to play around with on this matter, such as rhyming and strategically placing words with same end sound. Be creative! Be unique!

That's basically all I have. Sorry if it didn't help. Hope it did though!

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