Writing Story Titles

How to Write an Original Title

We all know you can’t judge a book (or story) by its cover—but you can get a real feeling for a story or personal narrative by reading the title.

However, many writers don’t give their titles the attention they deserve, often resulting in a lackluster, bland, or otherwise ineffective title. Writing a great short story title can be easy. How?

  • Consider using a snippet of dialogue as your title. Our editors will help you identify if you have written a line or dialogue that works as a title.
  • What about making your title a twist on a cliché? The last thing you want to do is write in clichés. However, turning a cliché on its head will often grab the reader’s attention—which is exactly what a title is supposed to do!
  • Identify the theme of your narrative essay and consider using that as the title. However, be careful not to mistake the topic of your story for your theme. Every short story submitted for a volume about dogs will be about the author’s dog—rendering the title, “My Dog ______” ineffective. However, the theme of the submissions (such as forgiveness, personal growth, perseverance, etc.) will vary and could provide inspiration for your story.

For more writing tips, check out our downloadable online writing workshops today!

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