Do You Know How To Title Your Story?

Aug 15 21:00 2002 ARTHUR ZULU Print This Article

If you saw a beautifully painted house with a well kept garden of bright and sweet smelling flowers, would you not like to turn back to get a second look? Of course you would. And this outside impression would give you a favorable image of the inside of the house. But if the house were otherwise, it would probably not attract your attention.

So it is with books. But here,Guest Posting I am not talking about a beautiful book cover (which though is important). I am talking about the first thing to have in mind when writing your best-seller. And what is it?

The Title of Your BookHow you title your book is most important. Because it is the gateway to your book. Because it is your best chance to invite a reader to take a second look. And because there are many titles out there, begging for attention. How do you though get a title for your book?

You should know that your title must reflect the topic of your book. You are, therefore, to guard against writing a misleading title.

To choose a title is very easy. After you have gotten yoursubject area, narrow it to a topic suitable for your writing.

Let’s take Cloning for example. That’s a wide subject. Now, break it down into topics, and you have a list that reads like this: Origin, types, advantages, disadvantages, and so on. You could still pick any of these topics and narrow it still further. But the advice is; do not write on a wide subject area because you will end up with an unwieldy book, and do not narrow your topic so much that you do not have something to write about.

Now, how do you title your book? First, your title should be short. You may use a word, (CORIOLANUS) by William Shakespeare, a phrase (A TALE OF TWO CITIES) by Charles Dickens or a sentence (THE BEAUTIFUL ONES ARE NOT YET BORN) by Ayei Kwey Armah (I am not sure if I got the spelling of the Ghanaian name right).

If the title becomes so long that it cannot be remembered by your reader, or read at a glance, it loses its purpose. A title may even be framed like a question: WHAT’S WRONG WITH CLONING?

Second, you may give your book a subtitle, for effect, or to enable a better understanding of the book. For instance: TWELFTH NIGHT; or WHAT YOU WILL by William Shakespeare, SATANIC VICARS: A HISTORICAL PLAY OF THE PAPACY by Arthur Zulu. Beware though that your subtitle does not conflict with your major title. That will spell down for the book from the beginning. So, if you are unsure of a subtitle, leave it out.

Third. Your title should be catching and attractive. This may require a great deal of thinking. But it is worth the effort. The title of your book should be able to tell a reader that he has something to gain from reading the book. Think of the title of this book you are reading: HOW TO WRITE A BEST – SELLER by Arthur Zulu. Who wouldn’t like to write a best – seller? None.

Fourth, your title should be in good taste. That means it should not offend. Now, look at these titles: HOW TO DIE QUICK!, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SATAN. I don’t think many readers would be obliged to touch those titles with a ten-foot pole.

Fifth. Do not give your book someone else’s title. If there is a best-seller in the market, some writers think that the short cut to fame is to write a book, and stamp it the same title. Right? Wrong! Apart from the offence of plagiarism, it will pass you off as an unserious writer.

Sixth. Beware of giving serial title. Certain writers stamp the same title on all their books. It may suit such writers, but not their readers, who may find it difficult to tell the old, from the new. But it may help when you are writing in episodes, like the series of HARRY PORTER.

Seventh. Be ready to change your book title if is not convenient, or if it is not helping the book sales. Such timely actions by writers have helped to save their books from death.

Now, it has been said that giving your book a title at first would be a good start. This will help you in your research, and guide you in the development of your best-seller.

On the other hand, some tested writers finish their work before choosing a title. Which one do you like?

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Arthur Zulu, The Most Controversial Writer in the World, is the author of the best – selling book,
HOW TO WRITE A BEST-SELLER. Download your copy and FREE excerpt at :
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