Other Wrote:1994owl Wrote: It makes sense to tell your audience what to expect in the title
Does it? What ever happened to suspense?
“Avengers: a super hero movie invoking all the former superhero in the movies you watched years ago.”
The audience aren’t children. If you want to give a description, it’s called a synopsis!
I agree that long titles can give the game away to a certain degree, but they don't necessarily take away all the suspense. The question just shifts from what to how, which is generally the question webnovels answer anyway (if you know that the MC is going to be an OP hero, you care more about how he got into whatever sect/defeated whatever enemies/persuaded whatever teammates to join him). And once you've started reading a novel, it's a lot easier to just look at the title to know what the story is about if there's been a while between updates, than to go to synopsis page.
Tbh, on a site like this, where every novel is vying for a limited amount of attention, being able to let prospective readers know as much about the story as possible at first glance is a benefit: readers will be able to select novels they're likely to be interested in with some degree (?) of confidence. In a bookstore you'd be able to flip through a few pages easily, here you have to click through a bunch of pages (oh, the hardship. I know.)
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman (who also wrote My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman (which yes, did get slimmed to The Princess Bride for movies, etc. But)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, by Sir Terry Pratchett
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Even if none of these work personally for you, they're effective enough for the people reading these books, most of which have acclaim in their circles. So. There is some merit to longer titles!
Other Wrote: In my opinion, going over five words comes off as 'I'm doing this because anime usually has long-winded titles' and it sucks. Titles are meant to grab your attention, be quick and snappy. I'm not saying I'm a master or anything, though. What are your thoughts?This is ironic because the reason anime has long titles is because a lot of it comes from Syosetu, which is a web novel forum like royalroad, but the website doesnt have covers so to grab peoples attention you basically need a miniature synopsis in the title. People on royalroad imitating long titles is basically full circle
Snakefist Wrote: Another thing to keep in mind is that those books are mostly not targeted at serious or adult audience. They are targeted at children or teenagers with an attention span of a goldfish.
Sometimes that is what I want - when I was having a stressful day working in a pediatric clinic I started reading the "Sweet Valley High" novels - total brain candy - which is what I want.
If/when a title tells me "this is going to be fluff" it can be giving me new information
Other Wrote: 1994owl Wrote:
It makes sense to tell your audience what to expect in the title
Does it? What ever happened to suspense?
I don't think there is usually enough information in the title to ruin suspense (for me anyway).
There is a big difference between "House of pain, a cultivation harem murder mystery"
House of Pain, a cultivation harem murder mystery and the alchemist 3rd wife did it
Blind_Watcher Wrote: Tacking on 'A LitRpg story' "A Wuxia progression story" etc etc etc, basically guarantees more views.
I guess I can see that.
Now I'm trying to come up with the most extra-long-excessively-descriptive-advertising-in-the-title (and no promises that I will write it - unless it's really cool and I can't think of a better option for my next NaNo.
Pirate Cat Girl Harem islands on the edge of the Flat alternate earth, a litRPG cultivation wuxia progression novel
First, those LN actually were Web Novels published on platform such as this very own website called Shousetsuka ni Narou (Let's be Writers). But, entries there doesn't have description/synopsis to let people know what the story is about. So to make readers know the synopsis, they put the synopsis itself as the titles
Next, is how the books are put and sold on bookshelves. See, In Japan, the books are arranged in tight rows, with the spines being the only thing people can see before grabbing it. That's why when the publishers bought the right for these Web Novels, they didn't change the titles because it actually helped sales on the bookstores since people would know the synopsis with just one look
Alrezian Wrote: entries there doesn't have description/synopsis to let people know what the story is about. So to make readers know the synopsis, they put the synopsis itself as the titles
Okay, cool. That is very practical.
I guess in my plotting of how I would title - it would be something that raises a question mark enough to get the reader checking out the blurb, which would ideally give enough info that they could say "hey this looks interesting" and jump into it.
This connects to why I do not like prologues
1-adds another step (which if the person got past title and blurb and started reading should not be necessary)
2-usually comes off as quite a pompous descriptor of "look at my fancy cool worldbuilding" and "look at my fancy [theme/whatever] choices" and comes of (to me) as more prideful self reflection (and a tendency to give too much info away too fast) than useful.
That being said, if all the opportunity I had to "hook" the reader was the title - no genre info, nothing else - then I can see why including tags would be potentially useful tool.
Lastly, in the case of a few particularly stylish wordy titles, they also clued me in as to the writing style of the story and I happily followed the trail of birdcrumbs
On a more serious note, I just do long chapter titles for an attempt at comedy. I don't know if it works, but I hope it does.
"Chapter VII – Wherein is related Watanabe’s first conversation with a woman in another world." and "Chapter VIII - Wherein is related Watanabe’s second conversation with a woman in another world." may not be literary masterpieces in terms of a title, and "Of the most gritty and realistic incident in which Watanabe answered the call of duty." is very different from what the title implies in terms of its contents. But, I'm trying to cultivate a vibe with those sorts of titles and I think those sorts of titles are best fit for the cultivation of that vibe.
Also, fun fact, the full title of what I'm currently writing is "The Errant Otherworlder Watanabe: Containing the most accurate account of many adventures, misadventures, errants and other notable incidents as noted down by his comrades, now compiled and translated to contemporary English for the sake of the reader's enjoyment." Unfortunately Royal Road is not ready to handle that masterpiece (!) of a title so the full title is only shown on the cover.
The Wrote: On a more serious note, I just do long chapter titles for an attempt at comedy
Loved this line, and thinking about that kind of thing, where the titles themselves can be fun, yeah, I think I might play with that.