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How to Name Your Book, Chapter, or Essay

June 6, 2018

One thing I always take my time with is the title. If you've read Foreshadow (if you didn't go buy it on Amazon or Kindle now :3)you know the amount of detail that's in every chapter name.

 

I took my time in naming it, because the title can tell you so much about what you're about to read.

 

 

And same thing goes for books. (Or essays, if you're not a writer and just a student who wants to pass. We all are though, aren't we?)


The title of your book can either make it or break it. The reader could ignore your book as another novel or flip it over and read the synopsis, because the title was so intriguing it had them hooked.

 

There are, of course, hundreds of ways to come up with a title, but these methods were common among so many resources as well as the most effective.

Synonyms:

This one should be basic. Your choice of words can affect your book in general, and most importantly your title.


Now, think of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Sounds interesting, right? Just imagine how much Harry Potter would have sold if JK Rowling had named it Harry Potter and the Teacher's Rock. Not many.

 

Use big words - or as I like to call them, fancy words. Instead of "happy", use "enthusiastic" or "abominable", and instead of "sad" use "disheartened" or "mournful". WordHippo is a great source for words, as well as simply googling "xxx synonyms" and seeing the results.

Main Idea:

What will your title be about? The main conflict of the story? A significant event at one point? An attribute of the protagonist? The setting of the story?


Think of the different elements making up your story. Foreshadow referred to the ability that Meghan had obtained throughout the novel. Philosopher's Stone, for example, refers to the significant event where Harry meets Volde- sorry, he-who-must-not-be-named for the first time.


Think of the plot of your story and mentally highlight what you feel is of importance. Some event that the plot relies heavily on. Shrink the list until you're left with two or three, and brainstorm title ideas from there.

Figurative Language:


Think of various adjectives that describe the person, place, event, or any other name you are thinking of making the title. Think up every imaginable adjective and look at it. Which words would make a good, interesting title?


Think of it as a riddle. You want to hint at what's gonna happen, but at the same time remain ominous. Combine different sentences, words, and phrases to come up with the perfect title!

 

A great example is Little Fires Everywhere, which refers to the fire Izzy sets her house on as well as the various conflicts among the residents of Shaker Heights.

Simple:


Sometimes going over-the-top or thinking too much will just uselessly overcomplicate things. Foreshadow is simple, but is enough to make you understand what the book is mostly about.


Another example is War Horse - a book about a horse amidst Word War I. Maybe the title you need is as simple as Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

And, if worse comes to worst, you could always use generators online. Fairy names, dragons, uncommon adjectives, forgotten names - the internet is literally endless!

 

 

There's also this cool book title generator I found, which could double as a writing prompts generator too. (The titles are great; go check them out!)

 

And these are the main methods I use when trying to come up for a title for basically anything. I hope it helped!

 

If you did use a method, let me know!

 

(On an unrelated note, how excited are you guys for Eid? NINE DAYS LEFT - YAAAY!)

 

Share this with a writer you know and comment which method you found most useful. Buh-bye for now :)

 

~Leena

 

 

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©2018 by Leena Althekair.