Monday, November 14, 2005


I confess: I love long titles. My current favorite is by the wonderful poet Bonnie Roberts -- "El Rancho Motel Cost us $28 a Night, the Air Conditioning Control was Labeled 'Off' and 'On,' There Were Holes in the Drapes, the Shower Sprayed Sideways, and, Though We Had Our First Awful Fight That Was the Beginning of the End, It Was the Best Love We Ever Made." Think of titles as a tool. Use them to inform your reader about time, place, subject so that your first lines can cut straight to the point.


  1. You are the Title Queen - just look at the title of this post - nice. I have been really getting so much out of Pat Schneider's Writing Alone and With Others - thanks again for the rec. It gets to the heart of what always stops me writing, "How do serious writers - and we are all serious writers - keep going, keeep working, keep writing, when the tide of disbelief, discouragement, loneliness, keeps coming in and coming in? The problem is not discipline. It is belief."

  2. Here's a good example of a long, successful title on Verse Daily's web site today by Julia Wendell:

    On Our Way Home, Things Get Suspended for a Moment

    The snow flurry passed & the sun came out.
    Clouds parted over corn stubble, turning the field
    into an amber lake.

    The way you find yourself leavings
    after months of bad weather,
    so an amber wash across a field came
    & went—a body to be entered, crossed, held onto.


Your thoughts?