Monday, January 17, 2011

The Power of a Great Title

I was innocently perusing the aisles of Family Video with the fiance, when he noticed that Shaft in Africa is on sale: $2.95 for the movie by itself, or 2 for $4 if we found another movie that doesn't rent well from the 2 for $1 section. Because I was feeling indulgent, like Mildred Pierce, I decided to get my fiance what he wanted & hope that he wouldn't kill someone & blame it on me later.

Obviously, we HAD to look for another movie. I mean, why pay an extra 95 cents when you can pay an additional $2? That's right - we're saving the American economy, people.

As we continued searching, I came across this:

I showed it to the fiance, who was all: "We have to get that!" & since I agreed, we did.

Now, I haven't SEEN Stripped to Kill yet, but with a title like that, it's obviously pretty freakin' hilarious. & so it got me thinking about titles.

I literally bought this movie b/c the title promises so much enjoyment being added to my life. Unfortunately, I pretty much suck at titling my stories - I am way too unoriginal to come up with a gem such as Stripped to Kill. Often, however, unless an author has an arresting cover (which, let's face it, authors basically have no control over. & by basically, I mean definitely), the title of a work is one of the first things the public sees.

So if I have a crazy-fun romp of a tale wherein the protagonist caves in to any & all road rage before having her car taken away by parents who finally decided to parent & is then subjected to the whims of being chauffeured by someone with even worse road rage... but just title it ROAD RAGE... it probably won't reach the audience intended, or as vast an audience as it could receive.

Does anyone have any suggestions with regards to titling projects?

Maybe next time, I should write down adjectives describing my project on slips of paper and randomly draw a predetermined number from a hat, then smush them together into a title. Or insert the word "ninja" into all my titles, especially when there are no ninjas in the story at all. Yeah. I should probably totally do that.

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