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  1. #1
    Jaclyn Vesik

    How do you title?

    How do you come up with titles for your work? Do you have a formula, a trick? Sometimes they just come to me from thin air or somewhere in the story. Sometimes I start with a title before I really even have a story. What about the rest of you?

  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt

    Re: How do you title?

    Sometimes the title comes first, other times not. Of course if a publisher buys the item they can always change the title to something they think would sell better.

  3. #3

    Re: How do you title?

    Don't get hung up on a title. Just write the book.

  4. #4
    Lisa P

    Re: How do you title?

    Ouija board.
    ; )

  5. #5
    Devin Stadeker

    Re: How do you title?

    I believe the title of a piece of work should reflect its contents, but it doesn't have to do so directly. I have an analytical mind, so I usually try to match titles with themes, and whenever I read I keep an eye out for anything in the book that the title might have been hinting at.

  6. #6
    Joe Zeff

    Re: How do you title?

    I too believe that the title should tell the reader something about the story, but if possible, it's not obvious from the beginning what it says. As an example, one of my books has to do with drugs being smuggled inside bottles of hair die; I called it [i]Bottled In Blonde.[i] Years ago, I wrote a short story about two warships stuck in orbit around Mars (Both drives got disabled so they couldn't leave, so they fought whenever both ships were on the same side of the planet.) Only at the end, when the Good Guys send a Surprise Package in a polar orbit, do you realize why its title is Over The Top.

  7. #7
    Chuck Shaw

    Re: How do you title?

    I'm afraid I must respectfully disagree with Leslee & Lisa P.

    The purpose of the title is to catch the attention and intrigue the reader. Whether it is on the spine in a bookstore (where the publisher's marketing department probably decided what the title would be) or in your query letter, it is the first part of the book anyone reads. It must catch attention.

    IMHO, a title that doesn't do that is a major (and potentially fatal) failing in the manuscript, especially if you consider the manuscript as a complete packaged product looking for a buyer.


  8. #8
    Anthony Ravenscroft

    Re: How do you title?

    Often, whether a short piece or a book proposal, fiction or non, one of the first steps I take is to create a working title. It's the goalposts in the endzone, & gives me something to write toward.

    And often it's changed by the time the project nears completion. In fact, it might have morphed from football to cricket, & I'm shaping it toward a different outcome entirely.

    And once a piece is acepted, the editor often changes it anyway, whether to make a headline that better suits the publication or because Marketing has their own strange plan.

    Make up a title that works for you. If it's still near-perfect by the time your done, then run with it -- if not, change it. Then, don't expect it'll go to press, which is fine because it's done its job.

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