Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kick Ass Titles?

I have no idea why, but for me, coming up with an awesome title is the hardest part of what I do. (Hence the name Wolfy Love Story.)

I've recently been spending a lot of time on other people's blogs, just sort of poking around and seeing what's going on. And on those blogs, more often than not, I see a little meter like mine off to the side with their word count and a very very cool title to match. I just don't understand it! I don't have the ability to think of really cool titles. It's just not in me.

Part of me thinks that it's not such a big deal, considering the title is most likely going to be changed by either an agent or an editor before it hits the shelves anyway. But then I hear all this talk about agents who loved the title enough to read the sample pages even though the query fell flat, or how a good title can be the difference between "I'd like to see the rest of your novel" and "Sorry, no dice."

On the other hand, I'm really good at coming up with unique character names, or names of places. I can come up with something really cool in just a minute or two, and a title can take me weeks, and at the end of the day I'm still not happy with it.


How do you come up with your titles? What sparks that great idea?? How important do you feel the title is at the end of the day?

10 comments:

  1. The title either strikes me like a bolt out of the blue or ... nothing. I'm desperately bad at it. You're not alone! :)

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  2. I don't have a title for my WIP, really... I call it "Tessa's Way" and it happened by accident.

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  3. I think title's are important. I've bought books just because the title was so incredibly cool I couldn't resist it. Mine just seem to hit me - either before I even start writing or sometimes during the working. If it's during, it'll be because some phrase just popped out at me and grabbed me. I wish there were something I could say to make it easier, but I think we're all in the same boat.

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  4. I get my titles while I'm writing, but you're not alone in that area.

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  5. My critique partner gave me the title of the book I am querying now. I'm keeping it so guarded, I can't even tell you what it is!!!

    Hopefully you'll read it on Publishers Marketplace one day soon!

    Try to think of the theme of your book, and see if a title springs from there.

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  6. Won't lie--I steal a lot of my titles. Sometimes from song lyrics, or billboards, or other text I see in my normal day to day. Other times, titles come out of the text itself, when I stumble upon a nice turn of phrase, or make a typo that happens to be wittier than what I had intended.

    Don't worry about the title. It'll come.

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  7. I've heard word associations help. You can follow a path of thinking until something sounds cool. Or get inspired by your favorite part or phrase of that WIP :) Hope it helps!

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  8. I totally understand the title thing. Of the novels I've written, I only like one of the titles and that is a one-word thing, so I feel your pain

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  9. I think titles are important, but I don't even think about them anymore. When I was titling my own stuff (I don't do that now), I would brainstorm as many titles as I could. I'd involve my crit group in this process. It's just like writing a query. You need to cultivate the title. The right one will come.

    And then it will get changed. Ha!

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  10. Elana, that's just what I was thinking. I mean, is there really a point in spending all that time thinking of this AMAZING title only to have it changed in the end? :-)

    If something just attacks me, then I'll go with it, but until then, I'll be like REINHARDT! and just "borrow" from songs.

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