Is it just me, or is the hardest part of finishing a piece of writing the step which comes after the last word is down on paper? I think you all know what I’m talking about. Naming a piece is a difficult step for many writers. This list I’ve compiled shares the tips I use for my own work. These ideas will help you channel your thoughts into bringing out the best title for your piece.
- What is your piece about?
Take the easy road and call your work just what it’s about. Take a key moment in the text which all plot and action revolves around and use that.
Examples: The Hunger Games, The Canterbury Tales, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Is there significance in the time in which your story takes place? Draw attention to the date and time.
Examples: 1984, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Get a little poetic with it and use a strong image to convey the tone, hint at plot and meaning, and captivate the reader.
Examples: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Where the Sidewalk Ends
Another poetic device at your disposal. Use a metaphor to entice your reader. This can hint at the theme of the work as well as foreshadow events within.
Examples: The Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mockingbird
- Your Character’s Name
Simple and easy to remember. Using your main character’s name will help remind the reader of your piece when they recall the character on who the action revolves.
Examples: Don Quixote, Madame Bovery, Anna Karenina
- One Word
If it works for Disney it will work for you. Don’t bog your title down with lengthy phrases. Pick one word that sums up the piece and let it shine.
Examples: Frozen, Tangled, Scoop, Atonement
Does the setting of your piece have a significant impact on the meaning of the text? Let the location capture the reader’s attention.
Examples: Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Charterhouse of Parma
Make the title memorable using sound device. Like a song on repeat, alliteration will keep your title on the reader’s mind whether they want it there or not.
Examples: The Prince and the Pauper, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Sense and Sensibility
- Pull a Line or Quote
For poetry, a poignant line or repeated phrase is often a go-to title. In literature, this can be a memorable quote as well.
Examples: Nothing Gold Can Stay, The Road Not Taken, This is Just to Say
A good title will suggest what is to unfold within the pages without giving anything away. Allow the reader to make the connection between the title and the story.
Examples: The Grapes of Wrath, The Fault in Our Stars