I have spent the last few days working hard on my short story and trying to come up with a great title. I felt I should share my process with you and I would be very interested to know how you would (have) gone about choosing a title.
My two key aims for a title are; to be relevant and to be eye-catching.
There is no point coming up with an amazing title that has no relevance to the story. I would not want to cheat my readers in this way. It would be a waste of something that should help readers in choosing a book.
I know you will have heard of the line ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ Well I do. I like to see what style of art has been chosen and I am immediately judging that title as to whether it’s a good book for me to read.
I think a title is a great tool in attracting the attention of those who are likely to be interested in your book. For example, If I wrote a flowery title like ‘Pink roses’ then you would probably suspect it to be a romance. So if my story is more of an action then I should steer clear of the ‘Pink roses’ title.
This is all very objectionable and vague but I think you know by looking at a title what genre it is likely to be in, so when coming up with my title I am thinking about its relevance to the genre but also its relevance to the exact story.
In making it relevant to the story I must try to make sure the title doesn’t give away a plot twist, the title must not give away the ending. A few that I played around with did just this and would have therefore ruined any suspense.
So if my title is relevant and doesn’t give away the ending then I must think on whether it will stand out. Is it unique?
This was my downfall and I am now struggling over what to do. I came up with a title that I felt fit the story perfectly, but then I discovered that the title was already in use for a fantasy novel.
I must decide whether to carry on regardless, as the story is very different to mine (the title being the only similarity that I could see), or should I keep looking for that elusive great title.
So this is my process so far, what about you? Do you have a title fixed from the start that never changes? Do you go through a great number of possible titles? What would you do if you found another novel baring your title?