Hello to each of you. I was thinking about my book title theother day and it got me wondering what would be the electictitle words that would sell millions of my book. Maybe
someday you will get your chance to get one for yourself, but for now it’s
still in the infant stages of it. Beginning
hold on a sec, isn’t there something missing? Something rather vital? In fact, couldn’t it be the key to your book’s selling or not? Ah, yes, the title.
Sometimes I think I am going to have to give up and employ one of those companies
that do nothing but invent names for things. Usually it’s perfume. Actually I think I
would be good at coming up with names for perfume. Or soap powder. Or vacuumcleaners. But when it comes to books, the job feels impossible. Your mission: summa-rize your entire work in a nutshell.
If I could do that
(you want to cry out)
have bothered writing the book in the first place!
The ancients felt the same way. Nobody was too bothered about titles. In the good oldoral poetry days, on some far-flung Greek hillside, the audience would have been call-
ing out for “that one about the guy trying to get back from Troy” rather than “The Odys-sey.” And think of the “Bible” (
“the books” or “the scrolls”). It’s scarcely
even a title at all, more a category. Still, it is popular all the same. Maybe if I wait a few
centuries and see what label people stick on my stuff… yes, that ought to do the trick.
I am not necessarily recommending this as an infallible system, but it’s probably worthconsidering if you’re stuck. Here is a possible alternative for the “Kama Sutra”: “64Types of Loving.” I think I still prefer “Kama Sutra,” to be honest. Notice that this is
another of those I-
-even-bother-with-a-title titles. It just stuck there, like a barna-cle. Alternative theory: just go and translate your title into Sanskrit. Now we come to the negatives. We could be here all day talking about all the bad titlesin the world. They are legion. But there is one type of title (hold on, could that be a kil-
ler title: “One Type of Title”?) that really gets my goat. I don’t know why exactly. It’s a
phobia of sorts, maybe because it has become, I suspect, the most common title struc-ture of our day.Perhaps the rule about titles is that there is no rule. Like everything else we write, a titleis a bunch of words that are arbitrary, random, largely meaningless, and yet still striving
to sound as indispensable as the opening notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (nowthere is a possible title for the somebody’s something school of thought).
I was struck by the title of one book that I came across purely by chance in a bookstore.Lured in by this beguiling title, I took it down off the shelf, only to discover that it wasthe translation of a novel by Michel Houellebecq that I already knew. The original title,
“Extension du domaine de la lutte” (literally, “Extension of the realm of struggle”), isone of those deliberately stodgy ones. It’s the opposite of sexy, flinging that terrible
imperative back in the face of all publishers. But the translator, Paul Hammond, and the
publishers had most likely felt that they couldn’t get away with that in English. The
version they came up with should, I think, be a lesson to all of us who get wound up
worrying about titles.That title is a classic one-
That will leave the door open for the reader to take it as it is and go from there. Some-times the open ended story gets the most attention from inside the mind of your mind.
Dent & Bent Groceries
Lunch meats-Frozen Foods
near date groceries &
-Food Stamps, EBT, Debit & Credit cards
located on Blueberry Rd.-
FREEPORT in 331Plaza
Stop in and see what we have, great prices!Editorial
Views expressed in
The EMERALD STAR NEWS
do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. The staff of
The EMERALD STAR NEWS
pride ourselves in our efforts to ensureaccuracy of the publication contents. However, there is no guarantee of the accuracy of all the Information nor the absence of errors and omissions (especially when sent through a third party);therefore, no responsibility can or will be assumed. 3000 copies printed bi-weekly.