How to choose a STORY TITLE

26.4K 296 204

When I see titles like:
I Found Myself Falling... Not For The Right Thing Either. (How I Fell For My Brother's Bestfriend)

{|My Dad Made a Deal To Save My Life . . . And Now I'm Engaged to a Vampire Prince?!|}

I Hate Him, He Craves Me, I Want Him, He Needs Me. Vampires Are SO Clingy!

Saved...By A Vampire? What Will Happen To My Life Now?

and My Crazy Life!!!!
I just want to build a spaceship and leave this planet forever. I think those titles gave me cancer. (Yes, these are all actual story titles I found on Quizilla and Wattpad just now.)

When you come up with a title for your story:

-DO NOT summarize the entire plot of your story in your title. Then there is no reason I should read the book since I already know the protagonist "fell for her brother's best friend" or “my dad made a deal to save my life and now I'm engaged to a vampire prince”. Honestly, do you see book titles like this in the bookstore? Why on god's earth would you title your story something like this? *slaps these authors with a wet fish*

-DO NOT put random punctuation in your title. No periods, no exclamation points (well, there was one story back on inkpop titled Austenia! that I thought was really cool, and it caught my attention. Always use discretion when putting punctuation in your title. Only put it if it's absolutely necessary), and absolutely no interobangs (?!). Don't decorate your title with [[{]}[#$^&***~~ In no universe do titles need accessories. Let the title speak for itself, and be professional about it.

-ALWAYS use proper grammar in your title unless you have a legitimate reason against it. For example, I titled my novel SuperHero (which grammatically isn't really correct), but it has a special meaning in the story. Don't leave out apostrophes or use text speak in your title (unless it's a book revolving around texting, in which case, use your discretion. I still wouldn't advocate text speak in the title because people might think you typo'd, and typo'ing on your title is just plain ridiculous).

The above rules are more concrete (you can't really break them unless you have a really good reason), but now I'll delve into more of my personal opinion of good titles, so take the following with a grain of salt. By no means do you have to follow these rules, but here's what I like/hate to see with titles.

Titles with double meaning are really interesting to me. Ambiguous titles generally end up adding some depth and deeper understanding of the story.

I'm not a fan of titles that start with an -ing verb such as Chasing *name* or Looking for *name* . -ing verbs are usually awkward at the starting of sentences, so you wouldn't want to start your entire book with one, either.

For fantasy books, I love the title being some made-up word or name specific to the story. Eg. Eragon, Inkheart, and Artemis Fowl.

Try not to make your titles too long. Keep them short and sweet. (I'm aware the Harry Potter books have long titles, but in all honesty, if I didn't know a thing about Harry Potter and was browsing the bookstore, I probably wouldn't give them a second glance. But to all their own. If you like longer titles, don't let me stop you.)

I really love titles that are just one or two words long. It puts more emphasis on each word rather than splitting emphasis between a series of words such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban. With this, our attention is split seven ways. But a title like Twilight (oh, my gosh, Meyer actually did something I approve of!) or Eragon, our entire focus is on that single word. To give some Wattpad stories, there are titles like: Sunlight, Facades, Kickback, and Secret Stalker. It really makes you wonder what the story is about. If you already know the plot from the title, you'd probably be less motivated to read the book.

Now that you have an idea of some do's and don'ts about titles, you need to come up with one. That's easier said that done, but someone showed me a website with some great tips on how to generate your title. http://www.dailywritingtips.com/picking-your-perfect-title/ I've linked to it in the External Link.

If you have your own set of title do's and don'ts, post in the comments below!

Yuffie's Writing How-To'sWhere stories live. Discover now