AgentPete

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I’m thinking about (a) Saturday 9th October, same time as before (5pm UK / 12 noon EDT) and (b) this time tackling the topic of “Titles”.

Let me know your thoughts on both, please.

As usual / normal now for seminars, they will be *free* for Full Members to attend – and also, if you can’t make it on the day, a video version (a new recording) will be available in the Colony a couple of weeks afterwards. Members of the public will be able to attend too, at the low price of $19.95.

I’m quite keen on the ideas of “Titles” because, as with “Blurbs”, they are often under-valued by writers (see Pop-Ups – few of the tittles are really outstanding) and at the same time they do have an unreasonably large influence over a publisher’s decision to acquire a ms, especially from a first-timer.

But do let me know if there’s something you’d rather see us cover.
 

CageSage

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Early, I know, but I'm in. Definitely. I'll just have to work out the time a bit closer to the date. London will still be on daylight saving, and Adelaide will be starting Daylight saving on 3 Oct ... I think I may be awake(-ish) for this one!
 

Galadriel

Full Member
Titles is good. I'm rather interested in a future seminar/discussion re: balancing writing for an audience with writing for/from oneself. Is writing the only art form where it feels that the writer is always taking in account, the audience? I'm not sure sculptors, painters, potters, etc are under quite as much pressure to 'perform.' :)
 

AgentPete

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May 19, 2014
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Titles is good. I'm rather interested in a future seminar/discussion re: balancing writing for an audience with writing for/from oneself. Is writing the only art form where it feels that the writer is always taking in account, the audience? I'm not sure sculptors, painters, potters, etc are under quite as much pressure to 'perform.' :)
Interesting topic, really focuses on the difference / crossover between “communication” and “expression”. Let me ponder.
 
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AnnieSummerlee

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Count me in!
But I do wonder if non-members or people who aren't familiar with Litopia will be attracted to this topic. They might not think titles are that important, or maybe they already have a title they like, so won't be as interested as they would be by something like 'first pages' or 'query letters'. I guess it boils down to what you call the seminar.
 
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AgentPete

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Count me in!
But I do wonder if non-members or people who aren't familiar with Litopia will be attracted by this topic.
Yep. That’s right. Probably true of “Blurbs”, also.

At the moment, I’m more focused on recording stuff that (I hope!) has real value to Litopians. But I’m sure I’ll do a bit of clickbaity stuff in due course, too :)
 

Hannah F

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Titles is always a great topic. I'd like to hear your thoughts @AgentPete about recent/current fashions in fiction titles. One recent fashion, having character names in the title. Short and snappy, they ain't.

The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Interestingly, Stuart Turton added the "And a half" because "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" came out, completely coincidentally, at the same time. (I wonder will my originally titled Stuart Turton paperback become a collector's item?)
 

Hannah F

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Yes, I'm interested, having taken two (or is it three?) years of ideas before I finally came up with my title (or rather you did, @AgentPete, via an off-the-cuff remark :) ). Pays to keep one's ears always open in huddles.

Query letters, I think, will make for another good seminar. I suspect anyone querying, or thinking about querying, will be interested in that. (They should be).
 

RG Worsey

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About 15 years ago, an American film-maker decided to eat at McDonalds every single day for a month, and never say no if asked whether he wanted to "super size" his portion, so that he could chart what effect this had on his body and mind, and make a documentary. He could have called his documentary, Fast Food - Is it healthy? or the more dramatic, Fast Food - can it kill us? or even, My McDonalds Month.

Instead, he called it Super Size Me.

I was struck by what an excellent title this is, and filed it away as an example to learn from. Not only is it memorable, fun to say (alliteration rocks), but also a clever pun, as it refers not only to the portions often being super sized, but also to his body getting much fatter. It's a fab title.

I'm certainly keen to learn about the science and secrets of fab title writing. (Though my bowels are OK these days, naturally.)
 

Hannah F

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About 15 years ago, an American film-maker decided to eat at McDonalds every single day for a month, and never say no if asked whether he wanted to "super size" his portion, so that he could chart what effect this had on his body and mind, and make a documentary. He could have called his documentary, Fast Food - Is it healthy? or the more dramatic, Fast Food - can it kill us? or even, My McDonalds Month.

Instead, he called it Super Size Me.

I was struck by what an excellent title this is, and filed it away as an example to learn from. Not only is it memorable, fun to say (alliteration rocks), but also a clever pun, as it refers not only to the portions often being super sized, but also to his body getting much fatter. It's a fab title.

I'm certainly keen to learn about the science and secrets of fab title writing. (Though my bowels are OK these days, naturally.)
I'm amazed he lived long enough to make the final cut!
 
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gbhunt

Geraldine Briony H
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May 17, 2020
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About 15 years ago, an American film-maker decided to eat at McDonalds every single day for a month, and never say no if asked whether he wanted to "super size" his portion, so that he could chart what effect this had on his body and mind, and make a documentary. He could have called his documentary, Fast Food - Is it healthy? or the more dramatic, Fast Food - can it kill us? or even, My McDonalds Month.

Instead, he called it Super Size Me.

I was struck by what an excellent title this is, and filed it away as an example to learn from. Not only is it memorable, fun to say (alliteration rocks), but also a clever pun, as it refers not only to the portions often being super sized, but also to his body getting much fatter. It's a fab title.

I'm certainly keen to learn about the science and secrets of fab title writing. (Though my bowels are OK these days, naturally.)
Supersize Me was brilliant. Hard to watch, but brilliant
 
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Eva Ulian

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Nov 16, 2018
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The first thing potential buyers do is look at the book cover, well at least that's what I do. You have a split second to catch the person's eye with either the tittle or the image, they can't do both at the same time. However, I believe people usually are captured by the image first because it is the easier for the eye to process, therefore the tittle comes a flash second afterwards and it had better be good if you want them to pick up the book and turn to the back and look at the blurb.

Maybe you should include a section on "book covers" because the tittle works if the image works.
Well, that's what I think anyway. :lipstick::writing-hand:
 
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Terry Lowell

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Jan 16, 2021
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Yes, sign me up. I was wandering around Waterstones yesterday and loved the title of a YA book I spotted - 'They both die in the end'. It really works, I think, because it is a familiar phrase but also it spectacularly subverts the idea of spoilers and there for makes you smile and arouses your curiosity.