Samuel L. Jackson said of Snakes on a Plane, “All I needed to hear was the title and I knew I wanted to be in this film.”
Snakes on a Plane may be a dubious movie but it has a title Ronseal would be proud of - it does exactly what is says on the tin. But is it even necessary for a title to hint at its content? As Homer Simpson once said, “I read To Kill A Mockingbird and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds!”
Maybe there are no rules when it comes to great titles: You just know one when you see it.
John Gray didn't get much attention with his book What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You and What Your Father Didn't Know. He shortened it to the now famous, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.
In 1924, F. Scott Fitzgerald sent his new novel - Trimalchio in West Egg - to the publishers. They hated the title so he changed it to The Great Gatsby.
Jane Austen's father submitted an early version of Pride and Prejudice to a publisher, under the title First Impressions. It was rejected by return of post.
Strangers from Within was the title of William Golding's first novel until an editor changed it to Lord of the Flies.
You get the idea!
Titles can benefit from being snappy, symbolic or memorable but most of all they just need to look and sound right.