Finding the Title of your Short Story, Novella or Novel

Standard

Finding the title of your short story, novella or novel can be frustrating and difficult. It took me several months of trying to finally arrive at the title Seraphym Wars. There are certain guidelines that help and bloggers have suggestions all the time. So I’m going to throw in my two-cent’s worth.

  1. Look at titles from your genre in the bookstore and online (Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com). Jot down your favorites.
  1. Keep it short and simple – one to three words works best. You may use a subtitle, but it’s not a requirement.
  1. Create a list of as many titles as you can think of that relate to your story’s theme, genre, characters, plot, setting (especially if you world-built). Use a thesaurus.
  1. Survey family and friends to choose their favorite three titles from your list. Narrow the list and resurvey until you have about five to choose from.
  1. Make sure it relates to the genre of your story.
  1. Use the title in conversation. Create a title page. How does it look and sound? If you don’t like it, change it. (I went through about four titles)
  1. Create a mock-up book jacket. Place the title on the spine and front. How does it look? Try this with the other four until you find one that displays well.
  1. Try using this link but don’t rely completely on it; use your own judgment. http://www.lulu.com/titlescorer/index.php (mine got a ‘22.9% chance of being a bestselling title!’ Which was the highest ANY of my suggestions got.)

What are some of the best titles you’ve come up with for stories?

What are some you came up with but didn’t use because they didn’t fit at the time?

4 responses »

  1. Once treated with the homemade weed killer, weeds
    will shrivel and die within hours leaving your walkway free from
    undesirable weeds. If the ground is poor, incorporate
    a little well rotted manure or compost. The motor of gas
    and oil weed eater is often noisy and might be irritating when used in residential areas.

    • Fabulous post! I went through so many titles for my (so far) unpublished novel. I love your list of tips. One title I considered is difficult for many to pronounce, so I probably will not use it. I figure people won’t tell each other about the book if they don’t know how to say it.

      • Amanda, thanks for stopping by. I’ve been through about 7 working titles and too many to mention listed on paper as options. I really like the one I finally settled on. But the title scorer really helped.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s