To create a good title, look for key phrases that seem to sum up the article or book. Watch for sentences that catch your eye as you read through—perhaps they will captivate your reader, too. I wrote an article about a man who escaped from Vietnam. He felt his escape was made possible by the providential hand of God, so I named the article, “The Providential Escape.”
Another way to catch the reader’s attention is by reversing words or by changing one word in a common saying to create your own saying. “Forget and Forgive” is a devotional I wrote on forgiveness. Using “Forgive and Forget” would be overuse of a tired cliché. “Take This Job and Love It” is another example of a good play on words.
If you are writing a mystery, use words that show intrigue. Anonymous Tip and Final Witness are book titles that do this well. The reader wonders, Who will be the final witness? Be careful, however, not to tell too much in the title. “John Overcomes Cancer to Win the Race” probably doesn’t leave much for the reader to learn from reading the story.
Titles should be easy to pronounce and yet have pizzazz. The more memorable your title, the more apt your article or book is to be read and remembered. The Purpose Driven Life is an excellent example that is simple, memorable, and meets the reader’s needs.
Next week we will talk about using the ACE method for creating a good title.