Monday, July 20, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--July 20, 2015--Selecting Titles

A Step in the Write Direction

July 20, 2015

Update: I wish I had a more positive update to share, but I have to admit the last week has been a rough one with the rotator cuff physical therapy (seems like it’s making it worse; will see a surgeon Wednesday) and the COPD. Have been very short of breath and wouldn’t be surprised if, at my visit next with the pulmonary specialist, he may put me on oxygen, though I’ve been trying to put it off. But seems like all I want to do is sleep lately….On a more positive note, though, I found another insurance policy that will pay on the “slip and fall” if I can get the doctor to change the death certificate as “fall” wasn’t listed as a cause of death—when really it was the MAIN cause. So appreciate your prayers on this behalf. Thanks to all of you for your notes of encouragement (and some checks—which I’m not cashing until I hear from this latest policy).

Thought for the Day: "Let the printed word which brings men light, and let the printed word which makes men free, and let the printed word through which Thy word is spread, go on and on forever" (prayer of Johann Gutenberg, found among his papers).

Hymn for the Day:
“I will pour water on him that is thirsty;
  I will pour floods upon the dry ground.
  Open your heart for the gift I am bringing.
  While ye are seeking Me, I will be found.”
            Lucy J. Rider, “Ho! Every One That Is Thirsty”

Laugh for the Day:
A chap was arraigned for assault and brought before the judge.  "What is your name, occupation, and what are you charged with?"
Prisoner: "My name is Sparks; I am an electrician, and I'm charged with battery."
Judge: "Officer, put this guy in a dry cell."

Writer’s Tips:    Short Stories – Selecting a Title (This can work for nonfiction too)

I've heard people say, “Don't worry about your title. The editor will change it anyway.” Editors have more important things to do with their time, however, than to think of new titles. If you select a good one, they'll keep it.

I usually try to tie the title into the theme of the story. A story I wrote about a neighbor whose CB radio bled into our TV set and tape recorder I called “Breaker, Breaker.” I titled a story about a military couple “The Lord’s Army,” and I used a phrase from Scripture in a story titled “Such As I Have.”

An article about water beds ended up “Water, Water Everywhere—But Not a Drop to Drink,” and a travel article on Yuma, Arizona I called “Yuma, the Swinging Gate.” Another one on living with a disabled husband was titled “When the Golden Years Aren’t Golden.”

I always said editors never changed any of my titles, but I had to admit that “Tank, the Terrible”—the new title for my story in a teen Sunday school take-home paper—was much better than my bland title of “A Gift for Danny.”

Attract readers with your titles, but don’t promise them more than you can deliver. Your writing should live up to the title. There’s nothing wrong with being clever as long it isn’t overdone. For example, a splashing headline in a tabloid inviting the reader to a story concerning the health problem a popular singer was ashamed to admit, turned out to be only a weight problem.

Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

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·          A Step in the Write Direction—Student Edition with assignments throughout—on sale for half-price $10, $2.69 s&h)
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