Words can change moods, create impressions or completely alter the sense of a sentence.
Whether editing your own work or someone else's, here are some rules, recommendations, top tips and trivia.
As a rule of thumb should (generally) be unique, succinct, catchy and easy to remember.
Did you know?
• The Great Gatsby was originally called The High Bouncing Lover
• 1984 was The Last Man in Europe
• Catch 11 had a number change
• Tomorrow is Another Day became Gone with the Wind
• All's Well That Ends Well became War and Peace
• Atticus became To Kill a Mocking Bird
• First Impressions became Pride and Prejudice
Everyone knows titles are important. How do you choose what to title your work? Should you thrill, add ambiguity or give a flavour of the subject? There is no definite answer; it depends on the context. Titles and headings for web copy and news stories should be as succinct and informative as possible.
"More bad news for share prices throughout Europe" is improved with the more factual and clear "Europe Shares hit by Greek Crisis".
Readers can scan and will know immediately if the article interests them. Titles for fiction or features have fewer rules as writers can choose to intrigue, inform or a mixture of both.
Joanna Rowling had no middle name but added a letter K at the suggestion of her publisher to make herself more mysterious, Mary Ann Evans wrote under the pen name George Elliot, Mary Westmacott was Agatha Christie and the improbably named Samuel Langhorne Clemens wrote as Mark Twain.
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