Monday, July 12, 2010

Title Tips

Here are a few tips about choosing titles from author Bethany Roberts. For more tips on writing for children, visit her website @ Bethany Roberts.com

WRITING FOR CHILDREN - TITLES:

  • Keep your titles short and snappy. I have learned this one the hard way! People seem to have great difficulty remembering my longer titles, but no problem remembering the shorter ones. A good general rule is to keep your titles from one to three words, no more than five.
  • Catchy sounds - In creating your titles, try playing with poetic devises like alliteration and rhyme. Of my own book titles, I think my favorite is MONSTER MANNERS because the alliteration makes it fun to say.
  • Use verbs - Another way to make a title lively is to use an active verb in it. I did that with FOLLOW ME!
  • Reflect the theme - a good title, however short and catchy, gives us a hint of what the story is about.
  • Hook your reader - The title is your first chance to grab the attention of a reader- or of an editor.
  • Has your title been used? Check with Books in Print (at your library), or do a search on Amazon.com

Do you have any title tips to add to the list?

26 comments:

Candyland said...

Fab tips Shan! It's a lot harder to get a great title than people might think.

Tahereh said...

AWESOME. you're a rockstar, as usual.

<333

Kari said...

Ah, those tips are so true. I'd even go one step further (for YA) and say cool one word titles catch my eye the most...
Great post, Shannon!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those are great tips for any book.
I stuck with the short and simple for my title.

Jemi Fraser said...

Those are great tips - thanks!! :)

Jen said...

Great tips Shannon!!!! I always have trouble with titles!

Shelley Sly said...

These are great tips! Like Jen, titles aren't my strong point, but this helps. Thanks for posting!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I often find choosing a title to be the hardest part of writing a story! Thanks for the tips. :)

Carolyn V. said...

I love those tips! I always end up with long funny ones. Unless I'm working on something a little more dark. Then it's super short. =)

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks, Shannon and Bethany! Those are great tips.

Now use those to come up with a title for my WiP for me. ;)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Even after reading this, I think I'll still suck at coming up with titles. :(

It's so much harder than it seems.

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Really great tips. I SUCK at titles and I have no idea why. Most of mine are one word titles so these are great tips for when I think about renaming or coming up with new projects.
Hope you had a great time camping!

Palindrome said...

I love coming up with titles!! I like all of mine but who knows what the future publisher will say.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Great tips!

I just wanted to let you know that I changed blog domains, so my new domain name is: www.kim-franklin.com

Have a great day!!

Theresa Milstein said...

Good tips. Some writers struggle with titles, so this will give them some direction.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great tips! I was in a title blogfest a month or so ago and I was really surprised which titles people liked the best out of my title possiblities.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

great tips! I've been worrying about my upcoming book title, but seems I may be on the right track. (worrying must be a full time job with an upcoming book)
welcome home from your camping trip!

storyqueen said...

Interesting post.

Most (not all) of my story ideas come first in the form of a title.

Hmmm...

Shelley

Cleverly Inked said...

I have no problem remembering titles as long as the cover captures me. I am more visual when it comes to remembering.

Michelle said...

great tips - thank you

Susan Fields said...

Great tips - thanks for sharing! I especially liked the last one about checking if a title has been used. That's something I haven't done in the past but will start doing now.

Vicki Rocho said...

Great tips, but still something I struggle with.

Medeia Sharif said...

I think of the theme of my manuscript, and sometimes I pick a phrase from it to use as a title.

Susanne Drazic said...

Great title tips. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Thanks for the tips. I love naming my work, and I think I chose good titles.

Heather said...

I can't tell you how bad I needed this right now! I'm struggling with the title of one of my books and this post will be a huge help!

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