Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Title, Title, Here Little Title!

Good Afternoon Folks,

Today's been interesting. What with me having to run down to the doctor's office to find out I've the beginnings of an ear infection and congestion, so I'm on a perscription and Sudafed and Advil for a few days. Not my favorite way of spending a day--but it happens. But hey, at least I'm feeling better than I did last night. Last night I felt like crap.

So...I want to know...is there a system you use for figuring out titles...I'm talking any titles...titles for stories, blogs, emails, you name it. I have a hard time (a good portion of the time) coming up with good titles. Every now and again inspiration strikes and a title hits me out of the blue (like what happened with Conjure A Man).

I'm afraid I wasn't as inspired when I came up with the title, Surreal.

Granted, sometimes publishers change titles, but authors have to have a working title. One by which the story is called.

Generally authors don't have conversations like this with people:

Author 1: "Well, Story A is a coming along brilliantly, but I'm afraid Story 2B is giving me trouble."

Author 2: "I know what you mean. I'm having trouble with Story 357. It just won't come together."

Yeah. Those titles tell others absolutely nothing about the story. We need titles. Sometimes a title is what hooks a person into reading a story. (i.e., How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire -- that's a generally interesting one. It sounds like a how-to book, but it's really a work of fiction).

A writing friend of mine, Rina (kudos to her for sharing this method with me), once told me that someone told her to look at the first page of the book and find something within the first page that describes the whole story. That's one way.

Another way is to sit there staring blankly at the computer screen going "Title, title...what's a good title?" (that's usually my method, LOL).

So, what's your method? Have you found something that inspires you with that fantastic flash that says "Hey! That's a great title."

Have A Write Wonderful Wednesday!


Regina Milton said...

It's hard. With a title you want to find something that is both telling (as in, "hmm, this book is probably a YA paranormal") but is still intriguing and mysterious (so a good title is not: The Ghost that Lived Next Door when I was in the 8th Grade and then Came Back to Haunt Me in College).

I try to find words in the book that stick out to me, then I go from there. Most of the time however, I think of the title first or as I'm writing something before I come to the point where I need to name it.

bethanyintexas said...


I like your example of a bad title. That cracked me up. That rocked! KUDOS!

J.J. Bennett said...

I like ones with double meaning... my writing is always an analogy. So, it seems fitting to use something in that direction. Maybe it's too much scripture study? But I find it to easy. For blog posts, I tend to write the post and the the title. I'll start writing and have no idea what I'm going to say until it shows up on the page. Once there it' s plain to see because it sticks right out at me.

bethanyintexas said...


Sounds cool :-) Keep up the good work :-)