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How to choose the best title for your story
by JadenSeptum

What is your story about?

What is your character trying to achieve?
What is the climax?
Here's a challenge. Try to think of one word that describes your book, or the idea of your book, as a whole.
For instance, I wrote a book a while ago where all of the characters thought one thing through the whole story but at the end they find out it's all completely different than they assumed. So I called it "Revelation".

Make sure it's a short title. Most best titles are―it leaves more of a dramatic feeling and mystery as to what the story is about. When your title is too long it comes across as cheesy or lazy. Except if it's a comedy. In which case it's funny to have unnecessarily long titles. I was considering making my Star Wars comedy parody of the Force Awakens be called "The Totally Random and Sometimes Pointless Adventures of Benjamin Solo and Rey Kenobi". But ultimately I ended up finding a funnier one based off a pun which was "Star Wars: The Force Hits Snooze".

An interesting thing to do is to name your book after the villain instead of the hero. For instance I named my Halo/Marvel combined book "The Flood" and that title is very plain, but it describes a villain that they don't even expect is coming. Until they show up, you don't realize why the book is called this.

A good tip is to make your title representative of an idea instead of a character or plot. Some good examples include Christopher Nolan's films such as: Interstellar, Momentum, Inception, and The Prestige. In my opinion Chris Nolan and Hanz Zimmer are the gold standard when it comes to titles of both movies and songs. Another example is my own book called "Vigilance" because it represents the story's concept which is that keeping an eye on everything ends up biting them in the butt later. I also did one called "Inundation" because as two armies fight over the kingdom, slowly a darkness sweeps over and destroys everything much like a devastating flood.

Pick an idea word, and use a thesaurus. That way you find a very sophisticated and specific term for the idea that rules over your story. Make it mysterious. An idea that isn't relevant until the climax of the story when something is revealed. Then you have that moment when your reader realizes why the story has this name. And up until that point they are just wondering. It's a great thing to keep them in suspense and suspicion.
One word titles tend to leave the reader intrigued and curious about your book. It also helps for a dramatic effect on the cover. Because if you have a great cover that entices readers the last thing you want to do is cover that up with a long title that explains too much about the book. If you need a preview that goes at the back (or in Wattpad's case it goes in the description memo). So there you can leak out some things you want the reader to know to further draw them in.

I am not saying that longer titles are bad. Perhaps it's just my style to prefer shorter ones. But you definitely want a title that represents your book without giving too much away. Or something that draws in a particular genre or age of readers. But make sure it doesn't limit you when you're writing. For instance, if The Hunger Games had a different name, the author may have been able to go to a different path in the second and third book and transform the story in any way she wanted without someone saying "Why is this book called The Hunger Games if it's not even about the Hunger Games anymore?"
I'm not saying that her books were wrong to be that way. But a title like that could in fact limit the writer if they choose to go a different way in the future.

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