A Woman of Few Words
Last Update: Aug 1, 2021
I love titles and slogans - good ones of course. Maybe it’s my training as an advertising copywriter, or maybe it’s my CFS, as even on a bad day I can enjoy the best ones without effort. And unless we’re already a fan of the author, the title of a book, for instance, is often a one-second deal breaker; does it catch our interest enough to read the synopsis or reviews? Does it give us a taste of what’s inside? For example, would you gravitate to a novel entitled:
Maybe, but the change to
Pride and Prejudice
made it more intriguing.
All’s Well That Ends Well
didn’t have the gravitas of the re titled
War and Peace.
The High-Bouncing Lover
was definitely improved as
The Great Gatsby…
(I think The High-Bouncing Lover sounds like a completely different type of book…… but maybe that’s just me ????).
Titles I love that didn’t, so far as I know, start off as something else, include:
Where the Wild Things Are a children’s book by Maurice Sendak
An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers Homes in New England by Brock Clarke (not pithy, granted, but so intriguing).
Send More Idiots by Tony Perez-Giese
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
And on my ‘to read’ list is
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
where the title lured me into the synopsis, which sounds original and like it should be made into a film, maybe in the style of the Final Destination film series (no relation). As you see, I’m talking like a fan before I’ve even read it!
I love the pull that just a few words can have; the ability to intrigue, inform or entertain. In my brief time in Advertising, as a Junior Copywriter I didn’t get the chance to work on any of the juicy accounts with TV budgets. Most of my work was stuff like small newspaper recruitment ads for a Life & Pensions company - try making those sound sexy ???? I did get the chance to write a strapline for Reader’s Digest Gardening Books:
Well Thumbed by Green Fingers
After I was made redundant (humph) I put my love of writing with brevity to good use by entering competitions that asked for slogans or other ‘brief’ writing entries. I didn’t win any huge prizes, but I did win a few lovely treats, including two health farm breaks. One was by answering why I thought I deserved a weekend at a health farm, and I wrote:
After childbirth, a womb of my own
but the previous tenant
lowered the tone
far too busy for repentance,
not even time to finish my…
Unfortunately the trend for slogan competitions died and was replaced by competition draws. And I think I also lost heart a little after a winning entry in a competition by a soap manufacturer was ‘I like ‘x’ soap because it goes with my bathroom’. Seriously?!
I’d love to hear some of your favourite book titles and advertising slogans.