Titles come last.
Pretty much every thing I write, I write the title last.
The idea comes first. And then the writing. And then the title.
If I’m working on a longer project, I might come up with a title in the middle somewhere, and throw it up at the top of the page.
But more often then not I’ll end up with a so called working title (or several) that I use temporarily until I can come up with an actual title.
As far as blog posts post go, I have gone so far as to publish posts with out any title at all, simply because I forgot to add one in before hitting publish.
Usually my wife will ask me if I meant to post without a title, and I’ll say no, and then go back and update it.
This post for example, doesn’t have a title yet.
Titles come last.
But titles are important. Lots of people say “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover.” But I’ve never heard anyone say to not judge one by its’ title.
The title is usually the first thing people read. It is an important factor when it comes to readers deciding what they are going to read, whether it be an article, a poem, or a thousand page novel.
The title is meant to entice. To attract. It is the bait to lure potential readers into your universe. Clickbait has taken this concept to the extreme.
Titles are important. Titles are the best. Save the best for last. Titles come last.
And if the title is the bait, then the first line is the hook.
The best opening lines grab the readers attention and don’t let go. The readers are now curious. They want to know what happens next.
The most memorable first line I have ever read:
“In five years, the penis will be obsolete.”
I don’t remember the title of the book. I don’t remember the name of the author. I do remember, in general terms, the story. And I remember, very specifically, the first line. (Just to be clear, the book was not about sex, nor did it even really include any depictions of such material, not that I can remember.)
So the title is the bait. The first lines are the hook.
That means that the boundaries of your content is the trap.
The bigger, and more detailed, your universe is, the more people will fit into it, and the more time people will want to stay there. As long as it’s interesting, of course.
I’ve just realized what the title of this post will be. And, as I’ve already said, titles come last. So it’s time to wrap this up.
Which is a good thing, because I’m not sure this post has much of an actual point. But I hope you enjoyed it anyway.