Thursday, September 24, 2009

Titles, Titles, My Kingdom for a Title!


Well, with my novel winding down to completion, I decided it was time to give the poor thing a name. After all, I can't just go around calling it Untitled (although the thought does appeal to me, let me tell you!)

I generally suck at titles. Every now and then, I'll get lucky and one will present itself to me. I think I have the title of my next book all picked out, but then, I thought that before I started this book as well. However, it turns out that the book is nothing like what I planned it to be...and therefore, the title I had chosen no longer works.

So, my crit partners and I have been brainstorming and stewing and agonizing (at least on my part) over what to call this nice little stack of papers I've got going. And so far...it is still nameless. We do have a few front-runners, but nothing concrete so far.

Now, I realize that if this book ever hits the shelves, chances are good someone somewhere up the line is going to change the title. So I try not to get too attached anyways. But still, a catchy title can help snag some attention. So, here I stew. If this keeps up, I may make this my next contest. Name my book and win a gift card! Hehe....I'm only half joking :D

How about everyone else? Do you have problems picking titles? Do you get attached to your titles, or do you just give it a name so you've got something to stick in the query? Anybody got an extra title they aren't using? ;-D

19 comments:

Suzanne said...

Oohh oooohhhhh Pick me! tell me what its about and I'll help!!!!!!!!

I get titles fast and stick to them. They are, perhaps, the best part of my work. YIKES!

(Just look at my blog posts. Good titles, no?) ;)

Scott said...

Yes . . . and No! With the project I'm currently revising, the title was easy and has stuck with the manuscript throught all the revision phases.

With other manuscripts . . . well, not so easy . . . for the most part.

Again, I'm like you, whatever title I pick might get changed by an agent/editor/publisher at some later date, so I try not to get too attached to my titles . . . other than my current project. I'm sorry, but I'm not changing the title, not for anything. : )

Best of luck.

S

p.s. I used to try to come up with clever chapter titles. I finally gave it up. Chapter 1 is just fine and dandy with me, rather than Chapter 1: The Walls Came Tumbling Down.

Eric said...

Good luck with that. I have no good advice, since titles and names of characters elude me like Santa evades radar. Only once in all the time I've written has a title just shown up unannounced to proclaim itself. Don't fret too much though. Sooner or later, I'm sure you'll think of something.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Absolutely! Titles usually take a while for me. I've given up searching for them on my own and just wait for them to come somewhere in the middle of things.

Regina Milton said...

I get titles at the beginning a lot, before I've even written a word. If I don't, I try to wait for something to pop out at me. Good luck with your title search though.

Suzanne- I like the titles on your blog.

Rebecca Knight said...

Oh, man! I feel your pain! I usually stew for weeks as I'm writing, and then one day it will come to me while I'm in the shower. Or at 3 a.m.

There's no telling, but one should be due for you any minute!

Jamie D. said...

I usually pick a title before I even start writing - and they normally just sort of fall into place.

But for some stories - the title just. will. not. come. It has to be the most frustrating thing ever! Ugh.

Best of luck on finding the right title soon!

Michelle McLean said...

Suzanne, I love you blog titles. I'll be emailing you :D

Scott- LOL yeah, I toyed with chapter titles once...but seeing as how I can't even name the book, naming the chapters seemed a tad ambitious :D

Eric - ROFL love the Santa analogy :D

Kristen - I usually do this also. I like those titles that sort of pop up within a phrase or something in the book. But this time...just didn't happen *le sigh*

Regina - I had a wonderful title picked out....until I wrote the book. Now it doesn't fit. So unfair ;-D

Rebecca - thanks to the help of a couple crit mates, I think I may have a title...one I can live with at least. Not totally sure, but we'll see LOL

Jamie - Yep, this book is being particularly stubborn. The next book is all set. I have the perfect title (and a possible backup) and I'm pretty sure it won't change. I think :D

Corey Schwartz said...

I'd go to Suzanne for help if I were you :)

I am usually terrible with titles. Every once in a while, the title is obvious (Like THE THREE NINJA PIGS), but most of the time I struggle and struggle and don't come up with anything great.

Sherry Dale Rogers said...

I am very good with names but the title "The Nameless One" rings in my head. It prolly want fit but it sounds intriging.

Alice said...

Can't help you with the brainstorming part, but I will tell you that if I don't like a title to a book I usually don't buy it... so... no pressure :)
Love, love, love your blog. Following!

Michelle McLean said...

Corey - I love The Three Ninja Pigs title! What a fun sounding book :D

Sherry - LOL I know, I had the same thought. I can come up with great titles...for books I haven't written. I really might have to write a book to fit that title, though. I really like it :D

Alice- Thanks for following :) And yeah, I'm the same way with the books I read. I also tend to judge a book by its cover (though I try really hard not to - I didn't read the Sookie Stackhouse books (which I now LOVE) because I didn't like the cover) - anyhow, yeah, my own tendencies are just making naming this thing that much worse LOL

Don said...

I have no problem picking titles. I can come up with dozens and dozens. Now, if you say they have to be good titles, then I don't do quite so well.

Quantity? Yes. Quality? No.

Diane said...

I'm up for a contest! :O)

Jill Edmondson said...

Oh, yeah! Titles are tough!

My first book is a mystery called "Blood and Groom" (coming in November 2009). The title came to me easily (it was either that of 'Bride and Gloom'). This book is the first in what will (eventually) be the Sasha Jackson Mystery series...

So what do I do for title #2 (MS is done done done)? Do I go with BLOOD again? Do I choose another pun?

The 2nd book is centred on commercial sex... as I wrote it (and even now) I called it "The Hooker Book" - not a good title, but a fitting working title!

Cheers, Jill
www.jilledmondson.blogspot.com

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

I usually do really well with titles. Other times, though, I cannot for the life of me come up with a title. (I have a short story in my computer that is unfinished. The file name just says "new story." My other unfinished story has the file name "Jack and Caitlin.")

Good luck to you with the title search.

christine said...

You know I atruggle with titles too...Oh well, at least I have working titles in place. I've giving you anything I could think of already...can'twait to see what you come up with.

Jan Markley said...

I'm pretty good at titles. The name of my debut novel is Dead Frog on the Porch!

I think a title contest would be good. Give us a paragraph plot description and see what we come up with.

Check out the cover of Dead Frog on the Porch at my blog:

http://janmarkley.blogspot.com

Michelle McLean said...

I think I will do a contest in a couple weeks :D I need to get a query together in case I need it anyways, so I'll use that for my description paragraph and see if you guys can work your magic for me :D