The other day I finished editing a short story I hope to submit to an online magazine I’d found in the Submissions and Competitions section of this website. Sadly, there was one problem, the story had a rubbish title and I couldn’t think of a better one so I turned to Google and found some really interesting pieces of advice, hints and tips that I thought I should share with everyone else, which can be found after the break.
Why is a Title Important?
No matter how fantastic the short story you have written may be, without a catchy title the chances are good that an editor will not read it. The title is the most important part of the story as this is what first captures the reader’s attention.
What Should A Good Title Be?
Before we start looking at how to come up with a good title, lets get an idea of what we are looking for. In his article Choosing The Right Name For Your Story on Writing World, John Floyd offers these rules of thumb:
- Titles should not be dull
- Titles should be easy to remember
- Titles should be appropriate
Kristy Taylor adds that whatever title you choose, you should research it to see if it is already being used by someone else.
Coming Up With A Title
Both articles we have mentioned so far have their own suggestions about how to come up with a good title however, we are going to focus on a third article How To Create A Good Story Title over on WikiHow. The article presents six steps on how to come up with a good title, which are:
- Write Your Story
- Make it Catchy
- Use A Vital Phrase In Your Story
- Time To Rhyme
- Various Other Ways
Head over to WikiHow to read the detail behind each step while you can find the John Floyd’s Sources to Jog the Imagination here while Kristy Taylor’s Ways To Awaken Your Muse are here. If you are still stuck you can always try Short Story Ideas’ Title Generator although I think their suggestions feel a bit clichéd.
Once you have your title you should try out the Lulu Titlescorer to see what chance it has of becoming a bestseller! Lulu claim there is science behind the Titlescorer but it seems more like a bit of fun to me.
What is your favourite way of coming up with a title? Why not tell us below!