Fountain pens and other useless diatribes

In a pickle over your working title?

Writing | April 13, 2009

I was just randomly googling, looking for a way to solve my problem of the really bad title of my novel - and I found this!

It's a site that was started by statisticians who studied the titles of 50 years' worth of bestsellers and identified which title attributes separated them from the rest. The site contains a program that calculates the title's likelihood of success based on the variables you select.

For example: Goodnight Angel. My working title.

First, you have to select whether the title is literal or figurative. Since Angel is the name of my victim, I went with figurative.

Then, you have to break it down. How many words? Which words are nouns, which ones are exclamations. Are there any names? You have to have a good working knowledge of grammar to be able to use the program, so I suggest you pull out your old school notebooks if you've let that aspect of your education slide.

The title Goodnight Angel has a 79.6% chance of being a bestselling title.

Grammatically incomplete titles score worse than titles which work to the rules of grammar. Results fall between 9% and 83% chance of bestseller success - I guess the rest is all to do with how good the book actually is.

But isn't that interesting? See what I meant when I said the title has to strike the right note? Obviously a bunch of random math guys agreed with me! And while Goodnight Angel is statistically viable, I'm still open for any suggestions you guys are willing to throw at me.

Just run it through the simulator first - it saves me time!

Any Comments?

About Jessica Seymour

I must have done a million of these things and I still have no idea where to begin...

About me: I am female. Caucasian. Brown hair and grey eyes.
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