Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Importance of Titles by Christine Duncan
Anyone who ever wrote a fifth grade essay knows about the importance of titles. Authors take it as a matter of fact and usually spend some time thinking about them. In the world of the net and especially the blog, titles become….crazy important. This fact was brought home to me on my other blog. As I am the administrator there, I see what brings in our traffic. Over and over again, a few titles get hits consistently, every week: How to really scare someone. (It scares me that that gets so many hits.) How to make a really good bad guy. Senior sleuths. Make your Reader Cry. This has led me to more than a few thoughts about titles, over and above the idea that there are a bunch of people out there who want to be really,nasty,scary. First, the overused but really apt KISS principle applies here. Keep it simple. Tell us what you’re going to write about.. Practicing this may come in handy later if you ever meet an agent in a bar or an elevator at a conference. You’ll be able to tell them about your work in progress in one simple sentence and hopefully make some sense. Also, try to think about how a reader might search for your post on Google. If you were looking for information, how might you put it. Apparently from my admittedly limited experience, adding how to something is a good way to do it. For instance for this post, I thought about writing, how to write a great title. And if I had figured out a guaranteed way to do that, I would have. Some authors want to intrigue the reader, hoping to lead them on. But think about your own limited time and what you do on the web. Many a night, I get on Facebook to figure out what my family is doing, do a quick check of my blog, and then maybe do a quick search engine check of whatever it is I heard on the news and want to know more about, or some problem, like a water heater leak or the like that I want an answer for. I’m not here to be intrigued. I’m here for answers. And I don’t think I’m alone.