Monday, March 14, 2011

[Insert Title Here]

Obviously, it's important to have a good title for a book. Or a blog post. Or a blog. But if you're like me, you're not good at on the spot naming and end up with some bull like "Still Writing..." I also once gave a book the creative moniker of "Story" until halfway through the first draft. I think this is partly due to the fact that I can't name something until I know it and since I don't outline beforehand, the first draft is the first time I "meet" the story.

Even then, it's hard to pick out a good one. This is the name of my book! I don't want to saddle it with something that will get it beat up in elementary school. Plus it has to be appropriate for the genre, the story, the themes...there's a lot to consider. If I ever have kids, naming them will be a lot easier than naming my books. Kids don't have themes! I assume.

How do you know when a title is the right one? It's not as simple as "you just do." So I have more questions to ask you. How do you name your work? Does it take a lot of consideration? Do you change it a thousand times between drafts? How hard would it be if you were told you had to come up with a new one?

Inquiring minds would like to know.


  1. I must admit titles just come to me. For example, my blog is "Surrounded by Books." I'm a writer and a librarian, so it seemed natural. Plus, I was staring at shelves of books when I created my blog. For the novels, sometimes it's like that too. Although titles can change. I apologize for not having some neat trick for it.

    Sometimes it does help to think what the book is about or an aspect of the book that makes sense. Of course, even if you come up with what you think is a great title, the publisher can and most likely will change it.

    Yeah, I'm no help at all. I'm sorry. Good luck finding the perfect name, though.

  2. I never know for certain if a title is right. I just pick one and if it sucks, I hope someone will tell me later so I can fix it.

  3. Sometimes it feels inspired, like God says,"Hey, try this one." Other times I have to randomize words, and something comes together. But, sometimes, it just sits there, kinda blinking at me.

  4. Oh, it depends. My current WIP's title is a take-off of a classic bluegrass song, that I heard somewhere. No real connection to the novel, though, so I'm sure it will have to change.

    I agree that the title is important, though - often when browsing at a bookstore I pull out something just because of the title.

    The name of my blog is "Title to be Determined Later" - just couldn't come up with something, so there it is!

  5. Oh, titles are hard. With short stories I usually come up with the title at the very last minute, so it's usually either one word or 'the' something lol.

    With a novel I think you definitely have to mull on it quite a bit, because it's so important. I keep trying them out until I find one that I like. Simple as that :)

    Also, I cracked up at 'kids don't have themes!' - nice one, teheheh.

  6. Choosing the name of my blog title was easy. Speak of the Devil seemed to suit me very well. The name of my work in progress was also easy. With much of the book taking place in Israel, Heaven & Hell seemed very fitting.

  7. I'm not good at titles either. I frequently finish an entire MS and still have no name for it.

  8. Titles, ugh. I wish I could help. My current WIP doesn't have a real title. My trunked novel only got a title when it came to me from a crazy scene in the middle. I slap a title on it, and I figure I'll change it eventually.

    I can't name my characters either.

  9. I'm no good at titles. What I AM good at is collecting a list of all the things I'm not good at. :(

  10. I'm in the middle of a title crisis at the moment. Narg. No good at it!

  11. I am awful at titles. The best ones seem perfect in their descriptions, yet effortless at the same time.

    I am reading the book One Year to a Writing Life where the author (whose name escapes me) emphasizes how important it is to learn to name things. To get in the habit, they suggest writing in a journal and learning to name your entries. Yeah. My posts for the first week went something like. Tuesday, I Hate Snow, Stupid Journal...

    I'm still working on it. :)

  12. Well, I just don't you need to consider a lot, Something catchy, based on your theme and genre!!

    thats what I feel. "Still Writing.." is good title in itself!!

    with warm regards

  13. I generally don't have trouble with titles - it's what comes *after* the title that takes some time!

  14. My WIP has changed titles more than once. My current title, Tangled, was suggested to me by someone in my novel writers' group. I've become very attached to it, but am now wondering if I should change it because of the recent Disney movie. Gah! What to do, what to do!


Please validate me.