Saturday, January 11, 2014

Writing TIp: Crafting Your Story Titles

You'll be writing titles for your blog posts starting already in the first week of class, and then you'll be creating a title for your Storybook project, along with titles for the stories in your Storybook. Here are some title options and styles to ponder:

Storybook: Main Title and Subtitle

It is very common for a title to contain two parts, a main title and a subtitle, with a colon separating the two parts. Consider this Storybook title for example:

When Brothers Cross Paths: A Story About How the Winchesters Meet the Brothers Grimm

Here the main title is more suggestive than specific, and then the subtitle explains what the Storybook is actually about. It's a really good idea to use a subtitle, especially if you want to use something suggestive and unusual as your main title.

In a Google Site, you can use the main title as the "Site Title," while using the subtitle as the name of your homepage. You can see how that works at the When Brothers Cross Paths Storybook, with "When Brothers Cross Paths" at the top of each story page, with the story title appearing below: When Brothers Cross Paths: Gimme Shelter.

For specific information about how titles work at Google Sites, see this page: Site Titles and Page Titles at Google Sites.

Blog Posts: Two-Part Title

Most blog post assignments for this class have a generic type of title I need you to use so that people reading your blog can quickly scan to find the posts they are looking for. So, for example, "Storytelling for Week 5" as the blog post main title will lead people to the right assignment for the right week when they scan your blog. You can then add a more specific title as the subtitle, providing an actual title for your own post. Here's an example: Storytelling for Week 6: Ravana's Rude Awakening.

Title Capitalization

Most of the time, you'll want to use a special capitalization style for your titles. One common style is to capitalize the first word of a title or a subtitle, and then to capitalize all the other words, with the exception of articles ("the," "a," "an") and very short prepositions. This is a stylistic choice, however, and you might decide to use a different style. For more about possible style options, see this Grammar Girl post: Capitalizing Titles. Some people prefer other title styles, so you can explore and decide what style you like best. The most important thing, as Grammar Girl says, is to be consistent. Make sure, for example, that you use the same title capitalization style for each of the stories in your Storybook. That way, the titles will look nice together in your navigation panel, as you can see in this screenshot of the Brothers Storybook:

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