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  • Alexander Inglis

Titles

I struggle with titles.

The title is one of the most important parts of any piece of writing. When someone first picks a piece of your writing it's more than probable it was chosen on the strength of the title. In the end writing must live up to the reader's expectations but the title is the first invitation to open the door.

Whether it's a short story, a poem or a long worked on book, coming up with a relevant, attention-grabbing title that catches the readers eye can prove be one of the most difficult and frustrating parts of the whole exercise.

A myriad permutations of ideas, scenarios and words linked in unlikely combinations produce a short-list of candidates, none of which really hit the mark. At this point 'Sleep on it'. Good advice in most circumstances. Put it to one side because once frustration sets in there's little point in carrying on.

Problems can be overworked so, for the time being, forget about it because, even when you think you're not thinking, the little grey cells continue to churn away. If nothing comes, there's still the list of candidates you came up with to start with.

What does come in the end may be a working title, and may change as the writing develops but, the mere fact there is a title goes a long way to making the whole thing that bit more tangible


Alexander Inglis

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