Our Greenacre Writers second short story competition has now closed. And the task of reading the stories and compiling a long list has begun. It's an enjoyable task, one from which I always learn so much about how to write a short story. Already I am seeing the benefit of choosing a really catchy title helps, not just to catch a readers eye but also as an overview of the whole story. I know about titles because I have written a few short stories myself and I know that most of them have had boring titles: 'The Locket', for one. I mean, what does that tell a reader about the story? What image comes to mind? It's not very exciting is it. I was lucky, my story was shortlisted a couple of times. That tells me it was a good story. I wonder what would have happened if it had a different title.
Here are a couple of example titles from winners of the Fish Publishing Short Story Prize:
The Space Between Louis and Me, by Mary O’Donnell
Honeysuckle and Cat's Piss, by Ewan Gault, Japan
And another couple from The Word Hut, Short Story Writing Competition:
Jo Derrick, Camels In A Field
Steven Dacre, The Lost Second
Do these titles grab your attention? Make you want to know more? Well they certainly intrigued me and having read the stories can see they added something to the recipe. They do indeed stir the readers imagination and curiosity and thus inspire a reader to read the whole story. Sometimes a title will hint at the authors purpose.However a really, really, really, good title also adds something to the story, it not only binds it together, it also represents the whole.