Monday, April 19, 2010

Title attraction.

I'm back...did anyone miss me?

My son is doing well after his surgery except for the sleep factor but we are working on that.

Thanks to everyone who took part in Writing the Next Line.  I may try it again next month. The story looks great and I'll post it later this week. Great job guys!

Also, thanks to all of you who gave me feedback on my old version of chapter 1.  It was put up on the Beta Club for open critique this past Thursday. All of your feedback was very helpful and Roni is awesome.  I hope to put something else on there soon.  Thanks Roni!

Here is something I've been thinking about. Titles. That's right, titles. The title of your book is very important just like the cover art (which is a whole other topic). The title catches the readers eye to draw them into picking up your book, opening it up and at least forcing them to read the inside jacket.

Lately, I have been thinking about the title of my WiP. Currently, it's a working title but I'm not sold on it. I think it's a little generic and there are many other books that have the same name but I'm going to wait until my manuscript is complete to rename it.

I do look to other books to see what pulled me in, what made me want to read them. Some books have a name that is obvious. Names that pretty much tell you what the book is about.

Dracula by Bram Stoker--about Dracula told from Jonathan Harker's POV.

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice--About an interview with --you guessed it-- a vampire.

Both of these books are classics in my mind but both with simple and self explanatory titles.

Then there are titles that maybe hint at something in the book but it's not the dominate theme or plot. These intrigue me because I wonder how the author decided on them. They really make me want to know what is this book about.

Shiver by Maggie Steifvater- Sure Sam shivers in this book along with making me shiver due to the temperature reminder at the beginning of each chapter.

hush,hush by Becca Fitzpatrick-- I'm still figuring this out maybe it went over my head--that happens. I think I remember a line in the book including these two words.  It doesn't matter-- I love the book.  The cover art didn't hurt on this one either.

Then there is the series.  If my book was ever published (and that's a big 'if') I do have a second book in mind.  So when I finally decide on a title I will have to keep in mind a title for the next book (it's plotted out in my head). Series titles are interesting too.

Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer-- I know some of you don't like this series but you have to admit it is clever. The titles--Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.  See the theme?

The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlene Harris--Every title has the word dead in it. Dead after Dark, Club Dead, Dead to the get the idea. There are about 10 books in the series and I'm not naming every one.

Not every series has titles that relate which is fine too.  It gives each book it own personality seperate from it's brothers and sisters.

Back to Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice--That series contains Interview with a Vampire, Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned and Tale of the Body Thief. Sure there is sort of a theme but it wouldn't surprise you if they were not.

See the books go together but look like they don't have to be.

So this gives me a lot to think about when naming my baby. What are your thoughts on the subject?

How do you go about naming your manuscript?

Do you name it at the start of writing, the middle or when you are finished?

What are your favorite titles?

How important is a title to you?

Don't forget to sign up for the last line blogfest Mat 1st at Lilah Pierce's blog.  Should be fun!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I'm so happy to be back.
Have a great day!


  1. I was fortunate enough to meet and hear Becca Fitzpatrick speak at a book signing. She said the book was named Hush, Hush because it is a book about secrets.

    Anyhow, I have working titles, but I don't marry them. If I get published, it's unlikely they'll remain my titles, so...yeah.

  2. Yes I missed you and I'm glad your son is okay. That "Write the next line thing was a BLAST" Yes, please can we do it again.

    My titles generally consist of my two MC's first names until something smacks me. I don't like titles because all the ones I pick have been done before.

  3. I was clueless about the title of Hush Hush, too. Yay, now I know. I love clever titles. The ones that makes you want to read the book to find out what the title means.

    Sometimes my titles come to me while outlining and sometimes they comes while writing. Because I have several outlines or projects in various stages of preplanning, I come up with something rough, even if it's just something to do with the story concept. Otherwise, it's hard to know which project is which if they're all called YA contemporary. For my wip, the title came while I was outlining and was woven into the final paragraph of the book.

  4. I'm glad you son is doing well. : I have working titles, but they're generally not very good since I hate naming things, period. I usually ask someone or maybe pull a specific line or something.

  5. Each time I've named a manuscript, the process for naming it has been different. For one I had the name before I started writing, for another I came up with it halfway through (it hit me like a ton of bricks, to use a cliche) and for the third, I really had to coax the title out of my brain.

    I like series with one word as the title of each book (the way Maggie Stiefvater has been doing it) and I like series like the Sookie books that has a word in common. (Or, like the Dexter books by Jeff Lindsay--they all alliterate with the letter D and Dexter is always in the title, too.)

  6. When I write something, I take a word or two as working title, so we (the people I talk to about my WIP and I) know what we're talking about. With short stories I've submitted, this working title usually doesn't get changed (I'm hopeless with titles and lazy). For my WIP, I wouldn't change it myself, but if somebody bought it and had a good suggestion... who knows.

    One series I really liked, by Laurell K. Hamilton, had its first few books each named after a coffeehouse or club or restaurant or... where part of the story took place. It changed later (and I don't know why), and I really liked this initial idea of coming up with titles from the places. However, I guess it was difficult to translate, since the German books got different titles.

    Which, of course (me being a translator) leads to the question: Do you consider translations when you choose your titles etc.?

  7. I love love love titles. Whether I'm reading them or creating them. That's my favorite part. But as far as I know doesn't your editor, when you have one, change it anyways? I mean if it's not 'saleable' they make it work. So in the end it's not really up to you.

  8. I love titles that draw out something thematic rather than being generic-sounding. Elizabeth Berg's _Durable Goods_ comes to mind.

    I didn't name my book till the manuscript was complete and the main theme became clear. In my case, the wording is pulled from a verse in Corinthians that ties to the character's name and her need to understand rather than judge.

  9. Glad to hear your son is doing well.

    My title just popped into my head. But, it's pretty cliche, and I'm not married to it by any means.

    I tend to love (am drawn to) single word titles with a good double entendre.

  10. Yes we missed you! Glad to hear that everythings good, except for the sleep. Ouch.

    Title's are tricky little beasts, I can't come up with a good one for anything!! I'm working on it, probably won't have one till I'm all finished.

    have a happy day :)

  11. Hmm. I was under the impression that your publisher is probably going to change your title anyway, so I don't worry about it! I know that Charlaine Harris had different titles in mine for Sookie's books, but she went with the publishers and ended up happy with it.

    I can't title worth a damn, so I'm counting on someone to help me out. :-)

  12. I like to begin with a title already in mind although SOMETIMES it changes.
    I like clever titles. Ally Carter's Gallagher Girl series has the best--in my humble opinion. :)

  13. naming my novels is a big deal to me, but then i'm a self-publisher and don't have to worry about a pub. house changing the name - or the cover art. Eldala's original working title was "Kieran". if you've had a chance to read it now, you know why i called it Eldala. that name didn't come until i was almost ready to publish it.

    the name for the current WIP (Blackheart) came pretty easily this time.

  14. The title of my book is the original idea I conceived when writing it. I'm sure that doesn't happen often.
    I think short, simple titles stick best.

  15. I love coming up with titles actually. It's one of my favorite parts of writing. But I can never really come up with something until the story is finished. the closes I've gotten to writing a title before the book was when I wrote the synopsis first, but I still know how the story will end. For me, titles tend to center on the theme. Occasionally, it comes from a line in the story, but not often. Most of the time, it's theme. And like Alex, I prefer short, simple titles. In my thinking, they'll be easier for marketing purposes to get the word out, too, and easier for potential readers to remember it.

    And welcome back!! I hope and pray for a smooth recovery for your kiddo. something like this just can't be easy on Mama either, so I wish you the best in this process.

  16. Welcome back. Of course we missed you. :)

    I'm glad to hear that your son is doing well and is on the road to recovery.

    As far a titles, good question. I've changed the title of my book three times now. I try not to get too emotionally invested, though. It probably will change again.

  17. I put in a fair amount of thinking BUT I always wonder in the back of my mind if the publisher will change it. I suppose now it's just a marketing thing to get my book out there.

  18. Still deciding on a title for my WIP. It's been driving me crazy! I feel like it's very important, so I want to make sure I'm happy with the title. Thanks for posting this - helps me know I'm not the only one out there agonizing.

    Glad to hear your son did well in his surgery.

  19. Thanks, Tina, for the Hush, Hush answer!

    I love titles like Fablehaven and Inkheart - one word, intriguing, playful, and powerful! But my title is 6 words long...hmmmmmmm

  20. I'm glad your son is doing well.

    I came up with my book’s title, “The Ride,” about halfway through the book. The name just suddenly made sense to me. I guess the publisher agreed since he didn’t change it.

    The title isn’t real important to me when I’m roaming around in a bookstore. However, if I read a book and can’t figure out what the title has to do with the actual story, it’ll drive me nuts for days.

  21. Welcome back, Christine!

    I think titles are SO important. If you have a great title, 50 per cent of your marketing is done already because people can latch onto something memorable. It's so hard to come up with a great one, though!

  22. Yes, I missed you! Glad your son is doing okay.

    I always need a working title when I begin a manuscript. It's usually something very basic relating to the main plot. So far, I haven't had a novel keep its original name. Book #1 had a working title, then a new title when I was almost finished with it, and now a brand new title as I've rewritten it. Book #2 also had a working title and now a complete title. I love book titles that aren't too obvious, but force me to make the connection.

  23. I came up with the title after writing the first page, it just worked. That doesn't mean that it still fits, in fact the more and more I'm thinking about it the more and more I know it will need to be changed but the title allowed me to grow as a writer... and I loved that feeling!!!

    Awesome post as usual Christine :) Normally I'm one of the first to comment! Very busy today!!

  24. I am so, incredibly, bad at choosing titles. It's so hard! There are so many good ones out there and every time I see a good one I think: Why didn't I think of that?!

    Hush, Hush is by far one of my favorites!!

  25. hmmm, great question. i think i have to say that i choose a title almost immediately, and if it doesn't come to me *then*, it becomes harder and harder to find the right fit. it can be so persnickety! lol. sometimes it just comes out of nowhere!

    i'm sure yours will pop up at just the right moment ;D

    best of luck with everything -- and so happy to hear your son is doing well!! :D

  26. When my brother wrote a book, he had to fight for his title ("The Trouble with Africa") with the editor. They are pretty stubborn I hear. But you are right, titles are very important to me. They should give something away but not all. Just lately I read the latest Marian Keyes book: Angels - which plays in Los Angeles. It is funny how titles change when books are being translated, often for the worse. Interesting subject. Thanks for coming to my blog!

  27. Welcome back, Christine!

    I'm terrible at titles. I always start the story without one and agonise until one presents itself. And it's usually not great, even after all that. . .

    Someday I want to meet Alice Hoffman to ask her what the deal is with some of her titles, particularly Here on Earth and Seventh Heaven. They suit the books but I'd love to know where they came from.

  28. I like to have a title before I start writing so I know what I'm aspiring to. The title will probably change but I like to have a basis. Usually, once I have the plot wrinkled out in my mind, the title springs from it. All pistons are firing in my mind, at any given time... when it comes to writing, anyway. :o)

  29. I'm glad to hear that you're so is okay.

    As far as Twilight, I won't go into my problems with the book, but I do want to point out that the author originally named it "Forks" after the town, which goes to show what an editor and a publishing company can do with... sorry I'm about to get into my problems with the book.

    I love choosing titles.