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Guest Post: Creating Compelling Titles by Dale Vande Griend


From the writing and work I’ve done creating videos, I’ve found out that a great title is something that often goes unnoticed but is a powerful tool for stories. A good title will get people to invest more time into what you’ve made and hopefully come back for more.

Here are 5 tips I’ve come up with to help you come up with your perfect title. There are lots of tips out there about finding the right verbs and nouns, but this is about finding the essence of your story and making it compelling. You want a title that holds the essence of the story in itself. These tips apply to any kind of storytelling. Novels, short stories, poems, videos, scripts, comics, movies, blog posts. Almost anything that needs a title can benefit from these tips. Enjoy.

Encompass the Entire Story.
The title should tell the story in just a few words. It’s a stripped down version of the story, but it also does not give too much away. You want to entice the viewer to look further. You want them to want the whole story.

Easy to Remember.
Make the title something people can easily share with others and talk about. If they can’t remember it they won’t talk about it.

Not Dull or Boring.
Along with making it easy to remember, make the title something people want to remember. Something that sticks in their head.

Evoke an Image.
You want your audience to see an image in their mind when they read or hear your title. They will associate that image with your story and make it easier to remember.

After the audience has completed your story, you want them to have a new look on the title. You want them to understand the true meaning of it. Almost as if the title has two meanings. This is what will separate a GOOD title from a GREAT title. They audience should pull new meaning and understanding from the title after they are finished and truly grasp the meaning of the story. The image that your title evoked before they experienced it should be different than the image they get after. This can lead to the audience rereading or rewatching your story. Which is a great thing.

I hope these tips help you create some great story titles that get people to want to experience your stories.

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