How to come up with a title for a book


Sometimes coming up with the right title for a book is as difficult as writing the book itself, but with patience and creativity, you can choose one that will definitely convince readers to pick up the book from the shelf and immerse themselves in the amazing world that you have created. A great title should be memorable, arouse curiosity, and hint at the content of the book.

Find inspiration

Consider the type of book. The name is always directly dependent on the subject and genre. Documentaries and scholarly works may have an inventive title, but should reflect the approximate content of the book. The titles of fiction books can be more mysterious and abstract. The title is the first thing that will catch the eye of a potential reader. The title should hint at the content of the book, captivate and provide information for reflection.

In non-fiction books like a collection of essays or a biography, the title should be more specific and precise.

In fiction and genre works like horror, fantasy, science fiction, and detective stories, the title should be inventive and intriguing, you can see the options on this site for the reader to want to know more. Use words that are specific to specific genres.

The detective novel can be called "The Mysterious Fork". The reader will see in this title a riddle, unanswered questions and a plot with a mysterious road.

Titles for fantasy and science fiction books may include fictitious places, names, or spells. For example, The Signal from the Planet Vandor could be the title of a science fiction book about a mysterious extraterrestrial signal from the distant planet Vandor.

Consider the main themes and plot. Every type of book has at least one main theme. Even in scientific and documentary texts there is some semblance of a plot. Describe the main themes and plot in one paragraph. What are the characters in the work doing? What moral dilemmas do they face?

If the book is about a hero or a group of daredevils who are fighting evil, then your theme is the confrontation between good and evil.

Perhaps the action of the fictional story takes place in the real world. Are the characters growing up, entering a new life stage, keeping secrets or losing loved ones?

In the case of a nonfiction, ask yourself: What is the purpose of the book? Is this a collection of essays about a specific event because you want to share the information with others? Perhaps you are researching some historical moment that inspired you.

To come up with a title for any book, imagine yourself as a reader and write one paragraph of text summarizing the main themes and plot. Given this information, ask yourself how you want the title to look. Perhaps the reader needs to know that we are talking about the prehistory of a certain event or in front of him a novel about growing up.

Having a clear idea of ​​the plot will also help create a title that won't reveal key details. The reader does not have to guess the outcome of the plot from the title alone.

Consider the time and place of the action. Time and place can influence the choice of words for the name. A novel about the Middle Ages should not contain modern words and phrases in the title. The plot of spies in the modern world may involve computer hacking. Strive for your title to reflect these aspects. For example, instead of the word "soldier" in the title of a book about the Middle Ages, it is better to use "knight".

The time and place of the action can be an important clue. If the book tells about a group of climbers and climbing a high mountain, then this information already suggests a whole set of words. The nouns "mountain", "top" and "peak" provide accurate information and create real intrigue.

Search the internet for ideas. Searching the internet will help clarify the ideas that are spinning in your head. This way you will not only find out if a particular name has already been used, but you will also find sources of inspiration.

It is better not to use other people's names, especially if it is a bestseller. This will make it harder for readers to know that you've published a new book.

Searching for phrases on the Internet will also allow you to see new lines of thought. For example, it may turn out that instead of the word "story" in the title, you can use "adventure" or "story".

Study the titles of your favorite books. In addition to searching the internet, research your bookshelves and the titles of your favorite books. Think or even write about why you chose a particular book.

Even if the book was recommended to you by a friend or it was a school assignment, you probably knew or heard about it before you knew the more specific facts.

Are you intrigued by the name, after which you want to know what lies behind it? Books like The Great Gatsby are popularly loved not only because of the beautiful storytelling and depth of the plot. The name makes the first impression. The phrase "The Great Gatsby" already gives an idea of ​​the content. If you don't already know anything about the book, then "The Great" sounds mysterious, powerful, and compelling. Why "great"? Who is "great"? "Gatsby" is a cryptic proper name. Sounds like a last name or something. Names like these are both informative and cryptic. You have to read the book to understand the depth of the title.

Create multiple options

Start with a working title. Some writers come up with the title first, and then they write the book itself. A working title can provide direction and inspiration for a story. Other authors first write the entire text, and then make up the title based on it. In any of the options, the name usually undergoes changes. Start with a working title, which will be a template or prototype if you are still working on the book. So, the working title will help to stick to the general direction in the development of the plot, the actions of the characters and genre features.

You may not need to change the working title. Sometimes the development of the plot leads to the fact that the original name becomes irrelevant.

In any case, the working title will be a good basis for the final draft.

Outline the circle of the main actors. Often the name contains a reference to the main characters or the main character. If the name of the character is used in the title, then it is customary to call it the title character. The play "Hamlet" is named after Hamlet and it is immediately clear to the reader who will be discussed. Same story with The Great Gatsby. The title of John Green's book Looking for Alaska contains not only a mystery about the plot, because Alaska can be both a place and a specific person, but also a hint that Alaska is the main driving force of the novel.

It is not necessary to use the character's name, but information about important actors or reasons for their importance will give you different options.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell includes many important characters, but the title highlights two of them. In addition to the unusual sound of the names, the reader may also be fascinated by questions about the nature of the relationship between the characters and the reasons for their importance to the plot.

Write down ten options. It is always easier to cross out what is superfluous than to add something new. Start with a dozen name options. This task will force you to come up with some unique ideas and at the same time allow you to combine the available names into the best option.

Don't nitpick or think about trial names for too long. This is not the final choice, so feel free to write down even the craziest options.

Don't worry about the number of words, because the ideas themselves are important at this stage.

Try to combine places, characters, themes, and active verbs.

Take a look at the plot. Review your list of draft options. Highlight the titles that you like the most and put the story in context.

Reread the book. Do some passages or phrases catch your eye first? You should choose a catchy or intriguing phrase. If it's short enough, why not turn it into a title.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is a great example of a title that clearly states the theme of the book but doesn't reveal the details of the plot at all. It is also quite a poetic name, which contains universal human qualities.

Also, Herman Melville's Moby Dick can be cited as an example of an intriguing title without reference to the plot. If you haven't read the book yet, you probably won't guess what Moby Dick's words might mean, but in the end everything will fall into place.

Confirm the final name

Use nouns and verbs. Proper names and action verbs sound clear and specific. They help make the name distinct and unusual. Look through all the titles of your favorite books again and choose the brightest of them. Pay attention to specifics. You can replace general words like "boyfriend", "girl", "city" with something more specific. What is the name of this girl or boy? What is the name of the city? Will such a change expand the range of interpretations of your name?

For example, "The Scarlet Letter". The word "scarlet" is much more interesting than the simple "red". "Red letter" sounds good, but specifying a specific shade of red helps make the name more memorable.

Reduce the number of words. A long name can be inventive and curious, but more often than not, it is perceived as something inappropriate. “The 100-year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared” is an aptly long title, which is a short story in itself, but does not reveal the details of the plot. On the other hand, one word "Dracula" contains everything you need to know about the book.

The length of the name is a subjective criterion, but with a short version it is always easier.

A more common and often successful strategy is the two-word noun + noun or adjective + noun.

Consider the convenience of finding a book, especially if you publish the text online. A good name will not only be remembered, but will also be easy to search on a PC and mobile device.

Scientific and non-fiction works may legitimately have longer titles due to the nature of their content.

Use meaningful names. Experiment with contrast, mood, and lively language. A good title makes the reader think about the true meaning of the words. The first interpretation may not be the only correct one after reading the entire book.

Let's go back to The Great Gatsby. At the end of the story, the name takes on another meaning. The outside world sees Gatsby as a great and mysterious person. After reading the adjective "great" is revealed in a new light. The reader catches the irony and contrast. In fact, Gatsby is not a very great person. He won this status by dishonest means. The life of Gatsby is a complete sham, and only the story that people tell about him can be called "great". There is a third meaning that goes back to the character's redemptive motivation - love. Let Gatsby lie and pretend, he did it out of love for Daisy. This is where his "greatness" lies.

The name "The Great Gatsby" not only names the main character, the plot of the book and contains a number of meanings. It is rich and comprehensive. Consider these aspects when working on the name.

Show the name to other people. Choose your preferred option and show the name to others to get their opinion. Very often, looking from the outside allows you to add an important finishing touch to the name.

Provide a brief summary of the book and get an opinion on the title. Ask if your title sparks curiosity, how relevant it is, should the title be shortened?

A step to the side allows you to see the name with a fresh eye. Re-read the book again to match it with the title. You may come up with new ideas.

Check out other books in this genre. What do they have in common? What books do you find most intriguing based on the title alone?

Do not escalate excessive mystery and do not go too far. The title should not kill the intrigue, but reveal at least a particle of information so that the reader wants to pick up the book.

Come up with several options and try to combine the parts into one title.

How to write a book in the form of a diary

The most famous examples of books written in the form of a diary are Flowers for Algernon, Bridget Jones's Diary, and The Collector. Write a bestseller about your daily life in the form of a diary!

Define a topic. Will your book be about the life of a guy or a girl? Teenager or child? An adult or an elderly person? Perhaps you want to write about yourself? Think about where your characters live, what their names are, what they are fond of. Think over the interests and characteristics of your heroes, work out the characters.

Think of other characters. Relatives and friends play the most important role in people's lives. The secondary characters make the story line interesting. Decide who your characters will communicate and interact with. Write about parents and friends, enemies and relatives.

Enter the main storyline. If you just want to describe life, then such a story will do, but soon you may find that you have nothing to write about, and the plot becomes boring. It’s better to figure out what the main character’s life revolves around (pet, relative, study, friends), and then create a whole story. Think carefully about your idea and start writing down ideas about the lives of the characters (you can make changes later).

Come up with a title and a cover. Draw a cover or take a photo. It is important to remember that you are creating a book in the form of a diary, so use a cartoon or a detail from the hero's life. Also, the book cover can look like a diary cover. If necessary, consider illustrations for the book.

Start writing! Remember to number the days and start each entry on a new page. Also determine the time period you are describing - a year, a decade, or how many pages will last.

Don't forget about the format of the book. Do not use chapters and sections to make the text look like a diary. Try keeping a personal diaryto sort things out.

Publish a book! More information can be found in our article .


Read other diary books like The Diary of Anne Frank or The Diary of Bridget Jones, but don't blindly follow the authors.

Don't try to imitate other books. Write unique text!

Ask a friend for help, because working together is more fun.

Add illustrations to make the book look more colorful.