A good title goes a long way

I’m crazy busy getting caught up after being away from the office for 10 days…so there’s not much time for deep and thoughtful blog musings today.  But, I did want to share this great link to Cat Rambo’s blog (thanks to Steve Buchheit for directing me to it).  She talks about the importance of a great title (something I know I’m not alone in struggling with).

Titles can be a real pain to come up with and are often given little to no thought.  Yet, they are the first hook the reader encounters.  Knock them out of the park and you just may sell the reader before they even read the first sentence (of course, the rest of the story needs to live up to the promise of the title…but that’s fodder for another conversation).

Cat advises writing the title last, which makes an awful lot of sense.  I, however, always feel directionless with the first page of my manuscript reading “Untitled”.  Then, once I slap something on there to make it feel less naked, I often end up getting attached to it, even if it’s awful.  Quandary.

What are your title travails?

3 thoughts on “A good title goes a long way

  1. Robyn

    I’m working on the following short stories: “The Rabbits”, “The Bezoar”, “The Succubus”. Sense a theme? So yeah, I’d say, when I first save a file, I slap some stupid but descriptive noun on it, and then never really bother to come up with something better. And to make it worse, the noun often gives the plot away. And later, if I manage to come up with a better title, I don’t recognize it when someone else refers to the story.

    Alas, I do not have a solution.

  2. Range

    I’ll start with a title, generally to help reinforce the story’s theme. I’d give it little thought after that. But recently, I’ve read other posts like Cat’s that talk about how important they are to not only all readers, but maybe the most important reader … the purchasing editor. So, of late, I’ve gone back to make sure the title matches the story’s defining element. That can be hard to do well. Regardless, I’m insanely jealous of those writers who can create these wonderfully flowing phrases for titles, e.g. To Slay with a Thousand Kisses. I’m a two-word-at-most kind of guy. 😉

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