Titles are the worst thing. I’ve never been good with titles. Every time I write a story or a book, I spend minutes and minutes trying to think of the best title for it. Blog titles – a new one every week – are the worst. So let me apologize for my of creativity. I find my ideas are always to literal. For instance, I once wrote a story about a house, and I called it Uzelman’s House. Because that’s whose house it was. But I don’t think it creates interest. And I believe titles need to perk the reader up, to make them jolt and reach for the shelf, or click on the link or tilt their head to look at words more closely. The best titles should require contemplation. Why is it called that? Where did they get that idea? Some great examples of famous titles that I love are:
The Sun Also Rises
The Tell Tale Heart
The Distant Hours
The Lord of the Rings
As I’m coming up with these I’m realizing that they all begin with “the”. Now for some examples that don’t begin like that:
A Hundred Years of Solitude
Lady of Mazes
Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire
Sense and Sensibility
and my favorite: Pride and Prejudice
That’s and interesting one, P&P, because as most people know, Jane Austen originally titled it First Impressions. I can see why she choose that, becau
se that is almost exactly what I would have called it, since the book literally is about first impressions.
Maybe that is why the last book I completed was titled “Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch”, because that is precisely what it’s about. Below I’ve pasted a picture of some mock cover art I drew about a year ago. I found this picture earlier today, which is what got me thinking about titles. And now I know what I have to do: I have to quit naming things so literally, and think about names creatively.