Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Tata to Titular Tribulations!


Note: This post should be taken none too seriously.

I'll just go ahead and say it. It's hard to come up with a good title. It just is. But never fear! I have a surefire way of coming up with a title THAT REALLY WORKS.

I show, as evidence A and evidence B, the following two movies:


What's so great about these titles, might you ask? I'll tell you. They are a TITLE and an ELEVATOR PITCH all in one. This is incredibly desirable, people. You know how it is: You see a movie trailer once, then someone asks you to go see that movie, and you can't remember what the heck it's about, because the title didn't remind you AT ALL.

Not the case with movies named like these two.

"Hey, wanna go see Snakes on a Plane?"
"What's that one about?"
"Dude. It's about snakes on a plane."
"Oh, yeah! Let's go."

See? Those middle two lines don't even need to be there when you have an elevator pitch title.

"Hey, wanna go see Man on a Ledge?"
"Sure!"

Makes life all kinds of easier. With a title like that, people won't need to remember if they've heard what your book is about. The title will tell them everything. Just in case you need some more convincing (as if!), I have taken the liberty of changing the titles and altering the book covers of some well known books to one that fits the SNAKES ON A PLANE / MAN ON A LEDGE naming convention.

I present to you, the elevator pitch titles:







Hehe. Now isn't that easier? Your title doesn't have to be a thing to stress over for months. Thirty seconds, max, and you've got it.

You're welcome. ;o)

I'm thinking of renaming THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH to BANDITS INVADE A TOWN. Effective, no?



Fine Print: No book covers were harmed in the making of this post. (And for the record, though 99% of this post was done in jest and meant to be humorous, I do actually think that SNAKES ON A PLANE and MAN ON A LEDGE were aptly named. However, unless it works with your book, I am not actually advocating renaming your book with this method! Except in the comments. I definitely think you should rename it in the comments, if for no other reason than to keep us entertained.)

55 comments:

Lindi said...

Love this post! What a great point.

jabblog said...

Titles must grab the imagination though it took me a long time to decide to read 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' - such a long title, but a fabulous book:-)

Iain said...

I think I'll change my Odd Squad to: Invisible Boy Stops a Bomb.
Than again... maybe not.
Oops, my 30 seconds is up. Are you sure can't have longer?

Kyra Lennon said...

LOL, genius!

I also mentioned titles in my post today because I'm struggling to think of a good one for my WiP. I'm not sure "Girl With Bad Judgement" is catchy enough lol!

Mama J said...

What if it takes me three sentences o describe my book? That's ok too, right?

Cortney Pearson said...

These cracked me up!! I'm no good at titles, but maybe Girl With a Haunted House might work for my WIP. LOL, thanks for sharing these, so funny!

Colin Smith said...

Very clever, Peggy! I love your re-titling. I might have to send you my next ms to help me name it. :) The working title I have for my WIP is A TEENAGE ALIEN IN VICTORIAN LONDON, which really does pitch the story too. But I'm not sure it's the best title. I'll give it more thought once I've finished the book.

Joshua said...

I'd even go so far to change the revised HP title to just "Wizard Boarding School." Where would you go from there? "Wizard Finds an Old Diary." "Wizard's Falsely-Imprisoned Godfather." "Wizard Tournament?" "Wizards Fight Back." "Wizard Finds Another Old Book." "Wizard's End."

Steph Sessa said...

I'm having such a hard time coming up with a title for my new novel. I've also been thinking about changing my title for my last novel as well. Titles are just so hard for me to come up with!

Jessie Humphries said...

Haha, this is a fun game. Mine would be GIrl Who Is Forced to Kill Bad Guys. But seriously, I looked at the title of your post on my sidebar and I was totally thinking this post was going to be about boob and nipple troubles!!! :).

Melissa Sarno said...

Ha! So clever. I hate coming up with titles for books.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I think the only reason Snakes on a Plane worked was because Samuel L Jackson made it cool. Samuel L Jackson could make my work uniform look cool... :-)

Jaime Morrow said...

Love the elevator pitch titles on familiar books :) I'm worried that the title I've picked for my WIP is exactly the opposite of this. Will have to revisit the topic before querying I think.

Jeff Hargett said...

I think I named mine using this approach and need to change it back! LOL

BTW - I tagged you for "The Lucky 7 Meme" on my blog if you care to participate. Details are at: Strands of Pattern.

Kim said...

Even for us non-fiction writers titles are a tough one. I've changed mine several times, and each time I thought for sure it was the one...the one that would stick. But, no... Great post! I love your sense of humor! :-)

Ozzland said...

I like the truth in advertising concept! But I remember a few years back when the show "Blink" came out. I mean I never saw it but if the concept was to hold true, it was about blinking and a blind person, I can get all of that I want just by turning off the lights!

The reverse side of that would be "Dude where's my car?" There at least like the snakes you know what the "plot" is...

David P. King said...

Okay. This post is genius! I would totally read "Vampires in Forks" than "Twilight" any day! :)

Kidding, but hey, you have a point. Luckily titles have always been easy for me. A few minutes and I have one (having your title integrate with the story is always helpful, too).

Karen Walker said...

Wonderful post and it is a great point to make.
Karen

Amanda Olivieri said...

LOL! I almost just laughed out loud at work. Love the changes :) And yes, coming up with a good title is so hard!!

S. L. Hennessy said...

Haha, some of those alternative titles are hilarious! I actually heard that Samuel L. Jackson signed on for the movie based on the title alone. Which is pretty awesome.

Charlie Holmberg said...

Ha ha ha, this is great!

tammy said...

Hilarious Peggy! I think you should do a part II. I'll come up with a few books I want re-titled....

Angela Cothran said...

Boy with a Dragon Egg sound so classy! I think every author should do this! Okay here is mine: Original--The Alabaster Refugee. New--Girl Runs From A Murderous Prince. I like it.

LindaK said...

Brilliant! I love the book covers. I was trying to think what the new title of my novel would be and found it really hard! So far, it seems to be: Woman tries to come to terms with a f***'d up childhood and gets fruity with the odd-job man whilst the reader experiences regular trips back in time into her mother's traumatic life. Oh, and her mother's best friend is keeping a deep dark secret. Nah. Needs more work. LindaK

i'm erin. said...

Ha ha snort! I just about peed myself. I love love LOVE Sharks in the water. This is exactly why my book is called "a book about a girl."

Kristine said...

Haha! I loved this post! You are hilarious. What would the bible be renamed? haha!

Delia said...

Hehehe. Spice in the Desert is so much nicer than Bodily Fluid Recycling Suit.

Lauren S. said...

Love it! Spice in the Desert... heehee. :D

Mine would be something like "Detective at a Peace Summit in Space," or just "Detective in Space." Which sounds really lame. ;)

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! I love it. Maybe I'll change mine to Girl Meets Boy and Chaos Ensues. *Grins*

Libby said...

Vampires in forks or Stalking Usually Works Out Well. Either will do! :)

Mara Rae said...

Great post, as always. I guess mine would be "Girl Who Can't Die" (or "The Girl Who Couldn't Die," which is actually kind of cool). :)

Angela Brown said...

You must have had loads of fun with these titles and their "title revamps". I love them. It was a struggle but I think I got a bit of a title and elevator pitch in NEVERLOVE. Guess what it's about? A couple of folks never meant to love. Tried to make it sort of kind of obvious yet poetic :-)

Leslie Rose said...

Way to vanquish the title beast. The alternate covers are hilarious.

Donna K. Weaver said...

This is a great post. Too bad you make it seem easier than it is. lol

Dang it!

Lauren said...

Well, Undersea is about...wellll, under sea, and Courier is about a courier. In a sense. Hm. Tradition, Spirit, the Maker...

Not as catchy as yours, but they do tell you what the story is about...once you've read it and have the context! :)

Jay Noel said...

That was fun.

The power of the preposition!

M Pax said...

I should change my book to last remaining soldier girl defends her world. I should quit then making my husband and critique partners help me with titles.

The Beans said...

Oh, this is a riot! Titles that sum the plot = winning strategy. XD

-Barb the French Bean

inluvwithwords said...

LOL. Great post! Next time I'm stuck for a title I'm going to give this a try. At the very least it would be good to get the brainstorming process going.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I'm dying!!!

Kitty said...

Best. Post. Ever. Wizard in a Board School... tee-hee!!

Gina said...

That is a funny post. I might change the name of my book, too. =)

Thanks for visiting my post.
From Diary of a Writer in Progress

Krista McLaughlin said...

Vampires in forks, hilarious!! :) Those were really some great title changes!

Adam Heine said...

Ha! Actually, this is exactly how I come up with my working titles (e.g. Air Pirates or Post-Apocalyptic Dragon-Riding Ninjas (with Mechs!)).

linda said...

LOL I love your re-titled book covers! :D I'll have to keep this strategy in mind for future reference...

Shannon Lawrence said...

What a fun post! Let's see, I could rename Lonely Hollow: Synthesis to "Teens stomp invaders Using Special Powers."

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Cynthia said...

Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today. Some pretty funny title makeovers you got here!

Anna Smith said...

Haha this was genies. I'm gona do this with all my books now just for a lil laugh. Thanks :)

Tonja said...

Loved it.

Tara Tyler said...

you are hilarious! wouldnt choosing a book or movie be so much easier? ha!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Very funny! Love your improved titles :) I guess in that case I could offer Groundhog Predicts The Weather and Hamster Waits For A Baby Brother etc. :)

Susanne Drazic said...

That was a fun post to read.

Nicole said...

This is sheer brilliance! ;)

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

Peggy,
Very fun post.

How about this one:

Watership Down - Bunnies on the Run

The Write Soil
1st Writes

Isabella Amaris said...

Hehe glad I dropped by. This was hilarious! Esp loved 'Boy With A Dragon Egg'... don't ask me why:) Will pop by again soon:)