Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tips for Terrific Titles #1

As promised last week, here are the first two Tips. (If you haven't read the discussion on titles, check out the blog entry on 5/4/09.)

1. Tone. Be sure your title reflects the tone of your story accurately. A whimsical title on a book that is dark and tense will leave the reader feeling suckered or betrayed. Avoid disconnects, so that when the reader is drawn by the title, what they find on the back cover and in the content will only make that draw even stronger. Be sure the title creates a sense of whimsy, tension, danger, romance, mystery, fantasy, the future...whatever best reflects the tone of your story.

Okay, so ready for a challenge? Based on the titles below...

Name That Tone!
The Boneman's Daughters
Redeeming Love
The Shunning
The Riddlemaster of Hed
A Vase of Mistaken Identity
Without a Trace
Three Weddings & a Giggle

2. Genre. This goes hand in hand with tone. While it's important to reflect the tone of your book, you also need to be sure the title fits the genre you're writing. For example, many contemporary novels have a strong thread of romance in them, but you don't want to put a title that focuses too much on the romance element. Those who read romances have specific expectations, some of which won't be met by a contemporary novel. The beauty of genre, though, is that we often mix genres. Cozy mysteries, for example, mix mystery with a bit of a whimsical tone. Romantic adventure--self-evident. So you can use that interplay in titles. One caveat: you can offset the genre focus with the cover art. For example, a title like The Longing Heart could be romance, could be contemporary. How the designer treats the cover will clarify genres for the reader.

Name that Genre!
Sister Chicks Down Under
Nothing But Trouble

Part two coming soon!


1 comment:

Teri Dawn Smith said...

What fun!

I'll write the tone I feel without thinking of the actual book.

Name the tone:
The Boneman's Daughters: suspenseful
Redeeming Love: (course I've read it) romantic, but I think of a strong love
The Shunning: heart rendering
The Riddlemaster of Hed: mysterious
A Vase of Mistaken Identity: light-hearted
Without a Trace: suspenseful
Three Weddings and a Giggle: fun

Name the Genre:
Kidnapped: suspense
Sister Chicks Down Under: chicklit
Wormwood: suspense
Nothing But Trouble:romantic suspense

Great considerations in choosing a title, Karen! I'm eager for more.