Words are magic, simple scribbling’s on a page that can conjure worlds, dragons, murderers, love, laughter, tears.
Sometimes, we string thousands of words together to send the message across, sometimes a paragraph will do. Other times, a simple phrase carries the power of an entire book – like the title.
Sometimes when I’m writing, my brain conjures up a title from the deepest recess of my mind and sends it to the forefront like an offering. Other times, the deep lake is silent, a foe who’s given me the pinky finger.
Who cares, I’d fume, it’s just a phrase, and as long as the content of the writing is good, the title doesn’t matter. And then I remember the countless books I’ve put aside just because the title was less than appealing.
Do you believe in magic?
It’s real. Words have power.
I believe there’s something about titles, a certain magic to either attract or repulse the mind. Short, long, suspenseful, humorous, frightening. No matter what, titles have the power to trigger recognition and stir emotion.
A weak title could repulse the reader, cause him/her to leave the book be. A strong title, on the other hand, has the power to entice a reader to pick up the book, even if for no other reason than to thumb through the pages and take a second look. Sometimes a second look is all a person needs to decide if the book deserves the title or not, other times, the reader may just go on reading to find out the reason for the title.
I, for one, have put aside countless books, despite positive reviews, just because the title didn’t appeal to me. For one, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one book I’ve read nothing but positive reviews for, but that title keeps shoving me away. Other books, like The Cruel Prince, have enticed me to pick it up, only to realize later that the title sounded better than the book itself (apologies to the fans).
Some titles can be non-descriptive, a neutral phrase or word that don’t really tell us anything, but for some reason (maybe the author’s name) gives us pause nonetheless. That’s when the reader may flip to the other cover and read a blurb (another bunch of words strung together) to see what the fuss is all about.
Words have magic, be it a short phrase, a paragraph, or a string of thousands of words put together to paint an image. Like a drawing on a canvas, sometimes simple strokes can do wonders.
Putting one word after the other to form a sentence is a simple task – but the result, to tease the reader’s imagination into seeing what the writer wants the reader to see is what causes the magic to happen.
Do you believe in magic?