Jan. 13 Writing Prompt

Greetings fellow kids!

Today’s writing prompt is designed to get you to think about titles. This can (and does) include things like chapter titles, scene headings and project titles for the novelist and screenwriters out there.

It also includes headings and sub headings and page titles for the copywriter. All of these things serve a purpose and have a job to do.

The main title has 2 jobs. The first job is to grab your attention away from what ever you are currently doing.

If you are shopping in the book store it should say “HEY! Stop walking and look at me closer!” If you are mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, then perhaps it says “Whoa there! Stop your doom scrolling and check THIS out!

The second job of the title is to interest the reader enough to move on to either the sub-title or the first page/paragraph/sentence of the text.

Each title from there on, either headings, sub headings, chapter titles, etc. all have the same jobs. If you name your chapters, for example, they should make the reader want to continue reading, even if it is 3 a.m. and they are exhausted.

What could be scary enough to make you stop in your tracks?

For the copywriter, headings and subheadings work to separate the content and make the all mighty Google bot better index the page. But for the reader, they should also hold value and grab attention.

Today, we are going to work on making an enticing headline!

January 13

Make up an incredible title headline for a horror book.

If you are a novelist, then you already have what you need from the prompt to get going. If you are a screenwriter, change “book” to “film” and go from there. For the copywriters among us, you have a dual task.

First, you must title the horror book, then your headline is aimed to get people to click the link to read about the book you are selling.

The Rule of 25

One of the more popular ideas for creating headlines that go viral is to use the Rule of 25. This is a method created by Upworthy in their LinkedIn slide showHow to Make That One Thing Go Viral; Just Kidding.

They tell you to sit and come up with 25 headlines. It is a chore at first, hard and time consuming. But, with constant practice, you will begin to think outside the box.

That bland “Top 10 reasons to Quit Your Job” headline turns into Internet Gold when you end up with “Forget Your Life, Abandon Your Kids, Leave Your Wife, Quit That Job – AND LOVE IT!”

So, for today’s task, you will title a Horror Book, but make it a title that comes from your zany list of 25 options.

Ready? Go! Then, share your best title with the class using the comments section below.

My best title was this:

The Wonderful Lies of Tamber Douglass and His Murdering Ghost

Did you do better than me? Prove it.

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