Which book would you pull off the shelf first:
“Leaves for clothing” or “Hey Jeeves, you forgot your Leaves”
Is there any doubt which one tickles the brain more?
Recently at our Writers meeting we had a bit of fun with this to practice writing titles. We were asked to write a list of book titles as they popped into our brains. Here’s mine:
|Pollyanna||Green Eggs & Ham||Huck Finn||Little Women|
|Great Expectations||A Wrinkle in Time||Uncle Tom’s Cabin||Oliver Twist|
|Charlie & the Chocolate Factory||The Witches||Bourne Identitiy||Lord of the Rings|
Then we were told, ‘Now morph them, dress them up, dress them down’ as quickly as we could.
|Pollyanna’s Bad Word||Green Ham & Swamp Monsters||Huck Finnigan begins Again||Little Women in the Wine Cellar|
|Great Expectorants||Time Wrinkled in Rum||Uncle Tom gets Cabin Fever||Oliver’s Twisted Psyche|
|the Chocolate Factory Fiasco||The Witches Twitches in their Britches||Born Without Identity||Lord of the Rigmaroles|
What do you think? Intriguing? Makes you really wonder what stories will unfold from the altered titles.
When you’re browsing in a bookstore, hundreds of them all sandwiched together, what is the first thing that draws you attention to a book? The spine–the Title. That is first what makes you pull out a book from those titles squashed so tight by bookstore employees that you can hardly get them out, let alone back in. (Note to self–is this a sales tactic?)
We roll that title around on our tongue. Cumbersome tongue twister types are not welcome by the average human bean. We like a title with a ring to it, or a rhythm. With a beat or an ominous note that reverberates down the spine. Or something that tickles our funny bone.
That title has to catch people. The cover is what we look at second, but an author has very little control, if any, of what his book cover will be like so that title has to count! I find that publishers have developed a knack for pairing covers with the books, but on occasion it happens that the title has to make up for an odd cover. So give it some pizazz folks. (Mind you there is such a thing as the deep end. Don’t send your would be readers over it.)
Try the exercise above for yourself, and just let go. Don’t think too hard. Have fun with it as you create wonderful titles that may just spark your next book.
And here’s a link for some tips to naming that book of yours: http://www.wikihow.com/Come-Up-with-a-Good-Book-Title