Writing Titles That Grab Attention

Writing titles, like headlines, should wet a potential reader's appetite and make them want to read the entire piece. It piques a reader’s curiosity and tells them a little bit about what the story holds.

Writing titles that grab attention is an art, you have less than 2 seconds to secure a readers attention with your title. How do you do this effectively?

The article below provides excellent tips.

Is Your Title Compelling?

By Nick Vernon

Short Story Writing Tips:

Your title is your selling tool. It's the first thing readers will scan and contemplate whether to read your story.

What your title's job is, it has to lure the readers into your story - it has to be so compelling that they won't even have a chance to ask themselves, 'Will this story interest me?'

Their eyes will glide over the title and into the story before they realize it. The action will be instant.

What's a compelling title? It's one that instantly grabs our attention because it's...

    * Intriguing
    * Interesting
    * Catchy
    * Provocative
    * Amusing

Your title may not be all these things but it will have to be at least one. There should be something about it that grabs your readers.

So how do you write compelling titles?

Start by learning from the masters.

Learn from those whose articles and stories are published in newspapers, magazines and, in particular, pay close attention how the writers of Readers Digest go about it. They have been luring readers into their written material for years. They know their stuff.

Here are a few examples of titles taken from Readers Digest....

    * Did I really need to know that?
    * Who is Jack Kevorkian, Really?
    * Against the flames
    * Who Killed Margaret Wilson?

Do you have any newspapers or magazines handy, or even better, a Readers Digest magazine? If you do, note down a few titles, then analyze why those particular titles grabbed you.

If you don't have any magazines handy, take a look at: www.amazon.com (in the books section.) See what titles are listed there. Or look at your bookshelf.

Compare them to your title.

Is your title compelling?

If you find that it could be better, here's an effective way that will ensure you find the best title for your story...

Read through your story and on a piece of paper jot down sentences and/or words that appealed to you as you read. Jot down as many as you come across - Don't worry about editing them for now. Just note down all that grabbed you.

Then look at your characters. Is there something special about them, a word you could use in a title that will grab readers' attention?

Now with the list you have gathered, think about what you are saying in your story. Start crossing out the words and sentences that aren't directly relevant to it.

Select a few words and look through a thesaurus for a nicer sounding synonym.

Choose the most appropriate group of words for the title.

Remember... your title has to be one or a combination of the below...

    * Intriguing
    * Interesting
    * Catchy
    * Provocative
    * Amusing

About The Author

Besides his passion for writing, Nick Vernon runs an online gift site where you will find gift information, articles and readers' funny stories. Visit http://www.we-recommend.com

If you found the hints and tips for writing titles above useful please leave your comments in the box below they are appreciated.

Recommended Links

Picking the right topic.

Return from writing titles to the homepage.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • XML RSS
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines

Subscribe to our Ezine

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Creative Writing Prompts.