What is in a Story Title? Everything!


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When an idea hits a writer it can take control of their thoughts until the tale is finished. Sometimes the title for your story is what gets you started writing. Most times, you do not know what your story is going to be called until after you are finished. Occasionally, you will have trouble coming up with a title. This article is for those times.

If you have written a story and do not have a title, then finding one can be difficult. You want to choose a title that makes your work more interesting to your readers, but does not give the entire plot away. When naming your work, keep these tips in mind.

1. You want a title that does more than just tell the reader what your story's theme is. Intrigue your reader; make them want to find out what your story is about. Use your title to prepare them for your story, even if you only do this subliminally.

2. Your title does not need to be silly or overly exciting unless you want to convey that feeling. A subdued title can go just as far in helping your reader remember your story than an exciting one. There are many wonderful stories with very simple, understated titles.

3. Pick a title that helps set the tone of the tale. You do not want to name a horror story “The Pink Tu-Tu" unless you are trying to write a horror comedy or are trying to surprise your reader

4. If the title still has not come to you when you have finished writing your story, try reading through your tale. A lot of titles come from the story itself, either a phrase or line of dialogue. It might take a few reads to find it. If you still cannot come up with a title, ask a trusted friend to read your work and make some suggestions for titles.

5. Be prepared for the possibility that an editor might want to change your title if they accept your manuscript for publication. No matter how wonderful you think you title is, give your editor the benefit of the doubt if he makes a new title suggestion. The editor knows the readers of their publication better than you and their idea could have merit. So discuss the change with them. If you cannot stand their idea title, ask for alternatives, or suggest some of your own. If the two of you cannot come to an agreement and you are adamant about not changing the title, then stand your ground. But be prepared to lose the publication of your work.

6. Use caution when having a subtitle on your story. Most fiction and poetry does not need a subtitle. Only use one if absolutely necessary. Otherwise, try to come up with a title that will convey both your original title idea, and the subtitle.

Story titles are supposed to draw readers to your story, make them want to know what it is about. Choosing a title that makes readers interested takes a little energy and a bit of creativity, but it is well worth the effort.

Dawn Arkin is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Creative Writing . Her portfolio can be found at http://www.Writing.Com/authors/darkin so stop by and read for a while.


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