Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Name That Book!

Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival," where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:

How do you pick your titles?

Easy. Peasy.

I just pull up the TV Guide, do a quick eeny-meeny and voila - new book title. My first project about superheroes I dubbed "Champions League" and my most recent paranormal - "Devil's Night"

Those who've actually read those manuscripts might actually believe they could work (PS - really did just do a quick flip through this week's programming), but yeah.... no. My quest for a title is labor intensive. Or should I say thought intensive.

Acutally, up until a month ago, I was least stressed about picking a title. I was more worried about my novel as a whole, my query, and (ugh) the synopsis. Don't get me wrong - I chose one I somewhat sort of liked, but my adage has always been "Why stress about it when someone could change it with a quick swipe of the keys?"

And then I read Save the Cat.

Boy, was I wrong.

Choosing a title (a KILLER title) ranks right up there with formulating an amazeballs logline. Something that completely NAILS the concept of the book. Yeah. I've been killing myself for that killer title for the past month. And I think I've narrowed the playing field to three. Yay! Three is totally better than the vomit-worthy one I had for, like, ever.

Andheyyeah - I was about to share with my critique partners and writing group TONIGHT. So the timing of this particular RTW - eerily perfect.

Just FYI - I have three other projects I'm playing around with and two of the titles smacked me in the head before the premise did. The third one I think I'll have to beat out first.

So... if you're a writer, how do YOU pick your titles?


  1. Sometimes the title comes before my idea and other times I feel like I could pull all my hair out. So, I get the whole family involved in playing around with titles with me :)

  2. I hope the big reveal goes well! Titles are so hard, aren't they?

  3. Titles are important and they completely elude me. That TV Guide looks pretty good right now.

  4. Mm, I think that titles can always be changed. Generally I try to think of one word that'll personify the main conflict and stick with it until something better comes along.

    Also, hello to a fellow crusader! We're in the same group.

  5. Isn't it funny how some titles are clear right from the start, but others are unbelievably difficult? Always useful to have a writing group to discuss the tricky ones with :-)

  6. Titles are way too hard! I kind of like your TV Guide idea though. :) In all seriousness, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who bounces around with title ideas.

  7. I clicked on your blog post and found the title for my new WIP: AMAZEBALLS.


  8. Gosh, I can't answer your question! :( I spend hours and hours thinking of titles...even when I've come up with one, I still keep changing it! I don't settle for a title until I feel it's the right one.

    Thank you for coming over my blog, fellow crusader! Nice meeting you on the web! :)

  9. Well if it's any consolation Hemingway said "all the good titles are taken" so your not the first author to agonize over it.

    Dropped by for the Crusades! Nice to meet you!

  10. I struggle with titles. BIG TIME.
    I stopped by to say hi. I'm a fellow crusader in the YA Paranormal group with you. :) I'm a follower now.

  11. Maybe I should name my WIP "Judge Judy" that seems to be a very popular title.

  12. I am so lame with my titles. Since I haven't gotten anything to the point of querying, I usually just give it some lame name through writing and revisions. I know it's important and another one of those daunting all too important details.

  13. Congrats on narrowing down a good selection of titles! That is amazing timing that you were going to share with your group when this RTW came up :)

  14. Hi there - I'm a fellow Group 10 crusader. I'm looking forward to many more visits to your blog!

    I guess each title is different. Usually I make a huge list of everything that might possibly work and then start eliminating them until only a few are left. Then I get some opinions from trusted friends.

  15. Good question. With my WIP I'm currently revising I still don't have a title. I have a couple of ideas, but I'm not in love with any of them. With the other WIP which I've already started the first draft for, I had the title almost as soon as I started writing, and I love it. Strange how these things happen.

    Crusader from your group here too :)

  16. I keep swearing I'm going to decide logline and title before starting a new WIP, but I never actually manage it. I hope your group helped you choose!

  17. It just kind forms as I write the story. I always have something in mind when I start, but it rarely sticks.

    Hey from a fellow Luke Skywalker admirer! :0)


  18. Titles are crucial...and I stress and fester over them for months. I have zero advice/tips on choosing a perfect title. Sometimes they hit you right away and other times I'll be on my 3rd round of revisions at it'll still be something sexy like: WiP#3. (I know you're jealous)

    So, yeah. I got nothin' for you. Well, sometimes my CPs or husband come up with a good one for me. But I don't share them. They're mine, all mine. ;)

    Have a lovely weekend,

  19. I'm not really sure how I pick my titles. Sometimes I come up with one driving my kids around, or while I'm sitting at home editing or writing. I know I stew about them for a while. I write a list on which ones I like best, and take a few days to mull it over. I like to have a title even before I start writing. I don't know why, but it makes me even more excited to write the book! I know. I'm weird. A killer title just makes the book so much more real.
    By the way, we are in the same crusade group! It's nice to meet you! :D

  20. I'm terrible at coming up with a title.

  21. Hi, Alison,

    I hopped over from Rach's list to introduce myself and follow.

    Today the first challenge was posted.... YAH!


    February 18, 2011 2:40 PM

  22. Ugh, titles! I'm partial to one word titles so I spend so long thinking of one word that can sum up my book. It drives me crazy. Because to me, titles are what draw me to a book when I'm in a book store. Browsing through selections with my fingers dragginf across the spines until a title jumps out at me. So that one word needs to say so much. Of course if I'm so lucky to get published I'm sure it will change, but until then-
    Fellow Crusader. I'm in your group. ☺

  23. Hiya, buddy crusader! I'm making the rounds today and checking out your blog. Nice to meet you, and Happy Friday! :)

    Nice post on titles! Usually the good titles just come to me all shiny and perfect. The others I wrestle with, or do a loose word association, just writing down anything that has to do with the novel, diff combos. Gets the ideas flowing. ;)

    Artzicarol Ramblings

  24. making crusader rounds. Nice to meet you, now following!



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