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Good Titles For A Book
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Good Titles for A Book

Coming up with a good title for a book isn't always easy. Sometimes you don't know what you want the title to do. Do you want it to be dramatic and appealing to readers? Indicative of the story? Or just something you can appreciate personally? Book titles come in that many flavors and more.

Clearly, the confusion starts with not knowing whether to make your title the "face" of your book, or something with personal appeal. A story about your family's hardships, for instance, is probably meant more for your and your family's appreciation than any potential reader, while a story about the uprising in Tunisia probably isn't going to win (m)any awards with an inside joke that you and your friends snicker at slapped across the book cover. It's important to separate the stylized title from the non.

Here are a few examples with plot snippets. Can you tell which book title meant for the author's appreciation, and which for the audience? Remember, the personal title stirs something in the author, not necessarily yourself. The title meant for the audience is more intended to stir your curiosity.

You can answer in the comments.

"When Ketchup Spilled"

A serial killer's first time on the job.

"The Scripture"

A mystery story.

"High-Definition Life"

The story of a video game player, from noob to pro.

"Lego's On Top of Lego's: The Life and Death of Mrs. Frank"

The biography of a kindergarten teacher.

"The Last Cookie in the Jar"

The story of someone who commits suicide as told by a police officer who eats on the job.

"Why Aces are Black"

The story of a World War II fighter pilot who died. He was Caucasian.

Here's the last one -- personal title or a title meant for the audience?

"Walking On Broadway"

Non-fiction about a kid who walks down Broadway everyday on his way to school.

Tough one, huh? Here's a hint: could this title be both personal and geared for the audience?

Now that you've seen some examples, why not try to come up with your own? It's all a matter of knowing whether your title is a personal one or one meant for the reader. Once you can answer that -- as well as whether the story itself is for you or your audience -- then you know what title to give your work. The personal story wants a personal title. Everything else needs a face, or something the audience will understand or be intrigued by.

You may not get it right away. Personal title? Face? Huh? Despair not: there is more information on the topic of choosing a book title on How to Write Stories, a resource featuring unique advice on storytelling, coming up with story ideas, and tips for naming your characters, to list a few.

If there's one thing you should take away from all this, it's that knowing who the title of your book/story/other work of literature will target -- yourself or your readers -- is the first step in coming up with one that fits it like a glove.

Street Talk

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