Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Writing - What's in a title?

When I first began to write and blog I was like the eager beaver drinking in all the gathered knowledge of the great and the good and testing it to see if my work fitted anywhere. Initially I was disappointed. Now I find myself increasingly cynical over the 'advice' shared by so many thousands of would be novelists. It seems to me that there is no right or wrong way, just your way, and if that turns up a suitably satisfied audience then you could make it big.

What has inspired these thoughts today is a result of serendipity. A happy accident for me that may well have been a disgruntling disaster for others. I went to see a film and realised that it would clash with an appointment as the timings were slightly awry and the film was longer than I expected. I could have just returned home which would have certainly been disgrunting for me, or, as I did, choose to watch something else. The title of what I chose could have elongated the timing considerably!

Image result for the guernsey literary and potato peel society

One of the earliest pieces of advice I gleaned when setting out on this path was to have a punchy title, one that attracts potential readers to open the cover and read the blurb. Well the title of this film, and of course the book from which it was derived hardly comes into that category in my view. It isn't exactly Gone with the Wind or Ivanhoe; but it is eye catching. At this point I must admit that it wasn't influential in me choosing to watch this film rather the timing.

The title should link in some way with the story, but again that isn't a nailed on certainty. In this case it is exactly what the story is about but there is a deal of history and romance underpinning the fact that it is about a tiny literary society on a small island in the English Channel.

In fact the title says little to lead you into the story. As a phrase it has little other than mild amusement to 'draw the reader in'. In fact it conceals a convoluted tale, as well as history and romance. It explores relationships, both normal and otherwise and is rather quaint and English in tone. 

So there you go, I may have put you off going to see it, but the title is a good example if lengthy. If you are hoping for Avengers: Infinity Wars, you could well be disappointed but if you enjoy a gentle, but occasionally edgy, glimpse into post war Britain with good character acting and touching moments - go for it.

God Bless