Once the first draft, second draft, and final draft are down, though, a writer’s work is far from over. No matter how much or how little progress you’ve made on a piece of writing, the nagging title quandary is impossible to ignore. The title is what pushes readers away or pulls them in before they even put their hands on the book. It’s the first impression that shapes the way your reader’s frame the content of the novel.
Basically, it’s a massive deal.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with the title of your latest work, consider these tips.
1. Use a character’s name. The name need not belong to the main character of the work, but that certainly helps. Examples: Dracula, Frankenstein, Moby Dick, Carrie, and Jane Eyre.
2. Use an important symbol or motif from the work. Make sure it’s significant. Examples: The Bell Jar, The Grapes of Wrath, The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice, and The Glass Menagerie.
3. Use a quotation. You can pull one from the work itself or make an allusion to another literary work. Examples: Brave New World, A Time to Kill, Down to a Sunless Sea, Dying of the Light, and Things Fall Apart.
4. Use the main conflict. Don’t give too much away. Examples: The Old Man and the Sea, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and Love in the Time of Cholera.
Choosing a fitting title is a difficult yet rewarding task for nearly every writer. Armed with this advice, you should be on your way to the title of your dreams.