Tag Archives: title

Regarding The Subject Of Boring; A Title

16 Jun

We’ve discussed the importance of titles in the past, but I recently came across an article which was so badly titled that I had to say something on the subject. 

Generally speaking, there are several reasons why a title is important-  Firstly, it serves as a small sample of the whole so that a reader can decide whether to read the whole thing, based on the title. Basically, the title works as a sort of blurb. Secondly, the title also bears the weighty task of drawing people in, and for that, it has to be interesting.

To explain that point, allow me to draw your attention to a title which you’ve read recently. The title of this post. If you’ve forgotten, I’ll refresh your memory – “Regarding The Subject Of Boring; A Title”. Now, I know it’s a bad and uniteresting title, but why? What makes it bad?

Well, first of all, it sounds like it was written by a dusty, staid old professor who has written a larger number of articles than the the number of people who have ever read an article of his. It sounds like a discourse, a lecture. That’s bad. A title should pull you in, should catch your eye and interest you. A good title is an appetizer for the literary meal ahead. And if the appetizer is a stale cracker, who would want to eat the meal?

Incidentally, I had a hard time deciding whether I should give this post a bad title on purpose, since I was afraid it would work, and then nobody would read this. Maybe nobody will. If, however, you are reading this, then congratulations, my trust in you as a reader was well-placed. Thank you for reading despite a bad title. 

Spiderman Could Destroy Superman in a Fight

5 May
superman imageLet’s open with a question. Why would I give a post on The Writing Corp’s page a title like that? Spiderman has nothing to do with writing. Neither does Superman. How are they related?
Good question. The thing is, though, it’s not about two random superheroes, each of which either could or could not hypothetically take each other in a fight. It’s about the title itself. (And, anyways, Spiderman doesn’t really stand a chance against Superman, we all know that. What’s he going to do, shoot web at him?)
Let’s talk about titles.
Why are titles important? They’re just a way of telling stories or books apart from each other, aren’t they? Well, no. Titles are much more than that. A title is to a short story what a face is to a person. Whether you’re writing a short story, a novel, an article – even a blog post – the title is always the part people will see. Whether the title is good will determine if the title is just the first part that people will see of your work, or the only part.
I’m sure you’ve heard it said “don’t judge a book by its cover”. That saying is patently false. You should always, completely and absolutely, judge a book by its cover. The cover is what the author chooses to show you as an illustration for his book. An author makes an informed choice about his cover art and design in order to pull in potential readers. The cover is there so that you can judge the book. And the same rule holds true for titles.
So when you write something, whatever it is, make sure that the face of your work is the best part. Make the title engaging, informative, or even provocative. Don’t forget – people are choosing whether to read your writing based on those few words which you choose for your title. So make it good. Steal the stage. Provoke. Dare. Intrigue. Inspire.
And absolutely never, ever, forget, that Superman would beat Spiderman any day of the week.
To read more words by Nesher Ehrman, pay a visit to his appropriately titled website at nesherehrman.wordpress.com/

 

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