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Say My Name: Titles

Banes at 12:00AM, March 15, 2018
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Say My Name

There are titles that fit perfectly with their subject, titles that could fit multiple subjects/contexts, and titles that don't work at all.
Recently I've seen several titles referenced that made me say “I HAVE to see that/read that!”.

A title can be handy if it tells you exactly what a piece of work is: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Jay's Internet Fight Club. The 40 Year Old Virgin.

I like titles like that. An actual statement of what you're getting, usually with a suggestion of the tone you'll be getting.

The title can also be a NAME. Probably the main character's name (though not always). Dracula. Superman. Archie. Forrest Gump. Charby the Vampirate. Calvin & Hobbes. Pinky TA.

A common, and interesting title can be an ASPECT of the story, that suggests a tone: JAWS. TREMORS. SCREAM. It's kind of neat how JAWS and TREMORS are very similar types of titles for very similar movies. Halloween and Friday the 13th, too.

Similarly, an unusual word or phrase can be cool. It's the kind of thing that makes a reader or viewer want to know what it means. This is a riskier approach, but can help a work stand out and remain memorable/recommendable with its unusual moniker: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Transneptunian. The Godstrain. The Silence of the Lambs.

Riskiest of all could be the “play on words” or “joke” title. These can be eye-catching, but could potentially lose their charm with repeated or extended exposure: The Santa Clause, Monster-In-Law, Chopping Mall, A Million to Juan, or The Earth, A Small Man, his Dog and a Chicken (that was an REO Speedwagon album).

Then there are phrases that could mean anything, and are potentially too vague. Sometimes they work, sometimes not: For Love or Money, Oblivion, From the Earth to the Moon, Diamonds are Forever, Something's Gotta Give.

A good title should either give some information on what it's about, or the tone of a piece of work, or promise SOMETHING, or create some kind of question or intrigue…or all of the above, if possible.

The title that caught my eye recently is for an anime. I don't know anything about it, but the title made me laugh and I'm going to have to watch it:
I couldn't become a hero, so i reluctantly decided to get a job
This promises a certain type of hero I think, and a certain kind of tone. I want to see it! I wonder if it'll be any good…

What are your favorite/least favorite titles? How do you go about finding titles for your work? What makes a killer title?



Purchase the Best of Banes Collection wherever Best of Banes Collections are sold!

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anonymous?

usedbooks at 6:17AM, March 15, 2018

I watched q movie a couple weeks ago because the title caught my eye. "Dave Made a Maze"

usedbooks at 6:15AM, March 15, 2018

Pierce Brosnan's Bond films have some of the worst titles in existence. They are bad titles because you can't remember what movie is what. It's word salad. Die Another Day is the worst of the bad titles because it would have been so easy to name it something both memorable and Bondy. In half a second, I came up with "Project Icarus" and "Diamond Face." Nope, it's Die Another Day because one of the villains got shot in the head in an unmemorable part of the movie and had reconstruction surgery and it is literally the least unique thing (among Bond films) in the movie.

Tantz_Aerine at 2:57AM, March 15, 2018

"The Banes of Our Existence" would be something I'd pick up! :P A title can certainly draw my attention: Court of Roses, Awfully Decent Fellows, Life and Death, The Second Crimean War, and many many more. I usually like the intrigue/arbitrary/symbolic titles for my work. Without Moonlight was chosen in that manner and actually people have found more symbolism than I'd originally come up with, which by the way totally fits! That's always an indication for me that I've chosen well :)

ozoneocean at 12:59AM, March 15, 2018

"A fistful of Banes" sounds like another restricted title ;) I've added comics to my potential feature list based on title alone. I LOVE some of the titles: "Taur Brazen", "The Sunless Children", "Half Hearted Headache", "Kitty Kitty Bang Bang", "The Wallachian Library", The Desperately Departed", "Hetero Milk, "The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand", "Stranger Days", "Closet Luccia" and many other cool evocative names that could work for band names too actually :D

Gunwallace at 12:37AM, March 15, 2018

The Best of Banes Collection, featuring ... Banes!: The Musical, The Banes Mutiny, A Fistful of Banes, The Banes Side of the Moon, Banes of Thrones, Dr, Baneslove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Banes, There Will Be Banes, Banespotting, Citizen Banes, Goodbye Yellow Banes Road, Banes to Run, A Hard Banes Night (that one is age restricted), and Banes Out of Hell.

ozoneocean at 12:33AM, March 15, 2018

I love a good title. :)

ozoneocean at 12:31AM, March 15, 2018

I'll make a pic for you.

Banes at 8:55PM, March 14, 2018

The "Point of View" essays will continue next week; I think I have two more I can do, but I'm still gathering my thoughts on the subject!


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