How to title your novel?

Some authors, including Kazuo Ishiguro, say that they have great titles but no story to go with them. The inspiration can be manifold. For instance, Nicci French took a title from a song in one of their novels, i.e. ‘Secret Smile.’ However, the title plays a more foreboding role in the novel, as it is does not evoke positive feelings There are many powerful songs that would make a great title: ‘Personal Jesus’, ‘The One I Love’, ‘What do you want for me or ‘Poles Apart.’ All these titles are very catchy, but they do not necessarily match your novel.

The title should contain a hook to intrigue the reader. it should also be pertinent to the story. The most intriguing titles may combine these two elements. For example, ‘The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year’ by Sue Townsend. You should be write your title in an active voice rather than passive. For this reason, ‘What survives is the strongest’ is not the best title. They should be simple and not need further explanation. Therefore, titles such as ‘The mini-pupillage’ or ‘The pupil’ in a legal context might confuse the reader. However, you can be sometimes quirky in your choice. For instance, you use the main antagonist’s name in the novel, such as ‘Rebecca’ in Daphne Du Maurier’s book.

How to title your novel? – Example Titles

It is always good to research top titles in the genre you are writing it. For instance, in psychological suspense, some of the successful titles are as follows: ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn, ‘Before I Go to Sleep’ by SJ Watson, ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins, ‘Blood Orange’ by Harriet Tyce, ‘The Widow’ by Fiona Barton, ‘Apple Tree Yard’ by Louise Doughty, ‘Never Let Me Go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo’ by Stieg Larsson, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ by Thomas Harris, ‘You’ by Caroline Kepnes, ‘Watch Her Fall’ by Erin Kelly, ‘Girl A’ by Abigail Dean and ‘Strangers on a Train’ by Patricia Highsmith.

You can read more about creative writing in book such as ‘On writing‘. If you found this article helpful, check some other articles on my blog.