Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Name is Everything

I'm working on hopefully what will be the final draft of my new novel which means it's time to settle on a title. I'm terrible at titles. Mostly because I know there is a lot of importance to what a book is called. Here's what I believe:

A title has to relate to the story. I hate when titles are misleading.

A title has to convey the mood of the story.

Those two criteria alone aren't so difficult. The trick is, the title also has to be appealing. I can think up a million creative titles that capture the mood and essence of the story, but they typically end up being what we in the biz term 'quiet titles' and quiet titles in a flooded market are deathly.

I currently have a list of several dozen possible titles for this book with none are jumping out at me at the moment. I still have faith that it will come to me in the end. Several of my novels have been titled only after I've finished the last draft and only after hours of exhaustive work. I just need to be drained to come up with them...otherwise, as this post makes obviously clear, I over think such a minor detail as the title.

Come to think of it, I have a hard time naming characters as well. I typically change their names at least once in the writing process. Perhaps this is why I've thought about names for a potential child since I was seventeen...and the by the way, still not settled on that either.


  1. I remember reading that Dicken's always had to have the title and names of the main charactes settled before he could write the actual story. A title is important, like the opening. Good luck.

  2. Your topic today made me smile-- Lisa Brown and I must have gone through fifty titles before Lisa struck gold with Picture the Dead. I'll never forget when she sent me the email, and there it was like sunken treasure. Mostly I am alone in this process, so it made it extra wonderful.

  3. Once again, Dickens has to show me up :)

    Adele- Picture the Dead is a GREAT title.