Thought of the moment....

No matter how hard you try, you will NEVER control anyone else's attitudes, actions, or outcomes. The only person that you have the ability to directly impact is you, and it is your responsibility to learn how to do just utilize the knowledge, skills, and abilities you have been given to impact the world in the most positive way that you can EVERY chance you get!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What makes a title?

I’m sure that many of you have been through this before and are still struggling with this now.  How do you find the perfect title for you manuscript?  You have just spent so much time, weeks, months, even years working on perfecting your most treasured work…now what do you call it?

Where do you get inspiration for a name for your book? Where do you look for a name? Does it just come to you easily or are you someone who struggles with it?  I know that they say sometimes when you sign with a publisher that when they read your manuscript, they may want to make changes and may want to change the name. Can you live with that?

I mean that I have around six to seven WIPs…some I have titled. But I don’t know if they are solid titles. I know that there are some that I feel very strongly about and some I am mediocre about because I need to differentiate my works because I would be completely confused if I called them all untitled…lol.

Some titles come to me in my sleep or during the middle of the day. I have even just been listening to music and a title comes to mind. Sometimes I come up with titles that have nothing to do with any of the WIPs that I am writing but I write them down …just in case.

So tell me, where do you get your inspiration for a title?


Kathryn said...

I'm terrible at titles. I have no clue about them or any good advice. I know a good one when I hear it, but that's all. It's always the worst part about writing for me... the title. Sigh. Good luck with yours!

Cat said...

I think it must be a common problem for writers everywhere. I have the same issue with character names though. Some just come to me before their stories; other's I have to brow beat until they give up their names. Titles are dreadfully difficult. I tend to nickname most of mine. I have one I've been working on for months that I simply refer to as THE ALASKA PROJECT...why? It's based in Alaska that's it. Yet at other times I can see titles clear as day. As writers we see the entire picture and to put into a small title just seems to be deflating the least that's how it feels sometimes. I wish they had an app for that!

Trisha Leaver said...

I am horrible at coming up with titles. Of my three manuscripts I've only titled one myself -- Seven Shades of Crazy.

Cedar and Inside Out came from beta readers who were kind enough to let me bounce ideas off of them.

Carla said...

I think Trisha has a good idea - maybe you just need some input from other writers on what the title should be. Sometimes an unattached, outside perspective is just what you need.

This is why I loved working for the local newspaper, it's the copyeditor's job to come up with the title, not mine, which is great because they're the bane of my existence.

When I do come up with a good title, I find they're either metaphors for the whole story or something completely obvious and perhaps a bit witty. Maybe you'll get inspired by thinking about the titles of some of your favourite books and stories.

PK said...

Sometimes I know the title before I start writing. Other times I let the title sneak up and pound me on the head in mid ms. I love titles. The more clever you can make it, the more likely you are to grab someone's attention. I read an article once that said titles should always be 1 to 3 words long and no more. Not always the case, but it does help narrow it down. I also read you should always google yor title. I found out one I chose for a ms was used fifty years ago for a book.

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