Titles

How much do I hate coming up with titles? Imagine the thing you loathe the most and times it by a hundred.

Hour upon hour of my life wasted. Bouncing words, drawing mind maps. Gah. At least today I can sit in the sun and do it.

So much effort needed because the title is so important. The wrong one can kill a book’s sales or get a TV project passed over. Nothing too generic. Readers and viewers need to get a handle on the story from that first glance. Many won’t waste the time to find out.

Studies have shown certain words are a big turn-off for large sections – ‘death’, ‘the devil’, anything with negative connotations. And that’s even in genres like horror and crime.

The same studies show the most effective titles for reader engagement describe the central and unique element of the story. Sounds obvious, isn’t always easy.

And titles work best on those same terms when they’re not passive, when they suggest motion or mystery or threat. Easy.

Then do a quick search on Amazon and discover your unique title has already been used.

And that is where I am today, trapped on the endless loop.