Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Choosing Titles

Oh, what a problem. I like to have a title before I start writing, if only to name my document but if I can't come up with one, I launch into the story hoping inspiration will strike before too long. Perfect Timing was not the first choice for that story but 'Driving Miss Daisy' was a bit risque and too close to the film I would guess, so dismissed. Perfect Timing is hardly original but it does fit the story I wrote so I grew to like it. We can all get very precious about our titles, fearing someone will beat us to punch. I came up with what I thought was a brilliant one, only to google and find three other books using it. Oops.
So what makes a good title? Short, snappy? Does it come before you start? When you finish? In the middle? Do you brain storm?
I like series titles eg. Naked Prey, Hidden Prey or Dark Lover, Dark Lord, or Lover Revealed, Lover Awakened - shame I haven't written a series!
My first ever full length story was called Unnatural Selection - about a girl raped by her step father who then runs to New York and gets trawled up in the underworld and becomes the mistress of a mafioso and is then kidnapped by his even worse son. She brings their drug empire down almsot singlehandedly. I thought that title was sooo good. Pity the story wasn't!
My latest story is about a werewolf and a vampire and I'm struggling. Moon struck. Moon shine. Man in the moon. Moon lust. Blue moon. Sense a theme? I probably need to drop the moon. Overdone, over used, over.... but inspiration still hasn't grabbed me by the throat and ripped it out. Oh no, that was the werewolf.


Dawn said...

I've got one word titles. I've got seven word titles. I've only had one that I knew the name on before I started. For me, they come to me while writing, almost naming themselves.
Watch a movie, pay attention to the title. You will hear that title somewhere in the story. This is a fun way to name a story.
To me, "Moon" sounds like werewolf and it's not. Certain words will trigger assumptions. I'd stay away from them unless the idea they trigger is what you're writing about. Pick a favorite line or situation in the story and name the story using it. That works best for me.

Chasing Souls--Maya realizes the soul she's chasing and the one she's found are not the same.

Or a title that tells the reader at first glance without a doubt the tone...

An Alien's Guide to Abducting a Bride.

Again--Here'e one of my one word titles about a Time Shifter stuck in a loop, cursed to repeat the lesson until she sacrifices the love she can't let go.

A title is the first thing you'll read when you pick up a book. First you see the cover art then you read the title. I think it makes a big impact. It's why I'm so picky about my titles.

Arlene said...

Anna in the Middle, came in the middle of writing it. And it was much fun while we sat on the fence, reading. I'm sure something will bite with a better title before the sunsets.
Blood Moon's a series I just found out.
BM sounds like a bathroom ordeal.
Time of the Moon.
The Moonstruck Vamp.
I'd Rather Be Reading It.
Not Any Help.

Heather said...

I love a good title. They're like savory appetizers before the meal. I get excited about great titles even if the book/film/tv show bites. I never get tired of discovering them.

Laurie said...

Oh, titles. Such a fun topic. I struggle with them at times, at other times they just pop into my head.

It's been fun watching Barbara work through title ideas as I read chapters on a couple of her novels, each chapter having a different title but all along the same theme. I'm sure every possible use of "Fence" was exhausted. LOL

P2PC has been the one I've struggled over the most. Some like it, some hate it. It's a futuristic acronym for Planet-to-Planet Courier which is the profession of one of the MCs, and the meaning is disclosed in the first two or three pages of the book, so I think it works, I'm just not sure how catchy it is. As my IPs know, I'm very protective about most of my titles and use working titles for everything, i.e. "Draxis," "Planets," "Time" until I start the marketing process. I never felt a need to protect P2PC. Who else would want it? LOL

Some of my favorite titles:

Games of Command (big surprise, huh?) :)

Inherit the Stars (which I tried as an alternative for P2PC and found it was taken).

Chasing Souls <<< Dawn's title is fantastic!

And I love one or two word titles:

Dead Beat
Star Trek
Star Wars

With titles like that, who needs a log line. LOL