Friday, October 19, 2012

40 WEEKS OF ME-Week 12, Title Trauma

As you can tell by my oh so inspired blog post titles, especially the aptly named 40 Weeks of Me, I have difficulty coming up with titles. I'm always in awe of those books where the title perfectly reflects the content of the book making it unforgettable.

I don't have this particular skill...title maker.

I thought it would be fun to share some of my amazing sparks of creativity. A little background first. I told you about my first writing endeavor. My horror story HOUSE. After horror I moved into the romance novel phase. This was the 80's... Bodice rippers and Fabio.

I spent my teens lusting over any book which had Fabio on the cover because I knew the best authors had him for a model. LaVyrle Spencer, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey were my favorite authors in high school because they knew how to make me laugh. Each book had an element of funny that made reading these books an escape from the daily grind. I still have my collection in storage, and I'll never give them up.


These authors inspired my historical romance writing phase. I didn't have titles for those books. I just named them after the characters. Mara and Kiwani, Mac and Eliza, Gabriella and Jace. I wrote these in high school. Nobody read them but my mom. My biggest fan, lol.

I have those stories in hard copy form because my computer died in 1994. I thought I'd transferred them onto floppy disk, but I can't find it. Remember kids, always back up your work.

The next few stories, I wrote in college. I never actually finished. They're in various stages. Some are a couple of chapters and others are upwards of 120,000 words, but incomplete: 5149 and a half, Death, Equal, Jericho David.

Psychic Journey- this title was a play on words because the main character was psychic and her name is Jurnee, ha! I talk about how I came up with this idea in an earlier post if you're interested.

Emerald Ocean- this is a fantasy. No elves, but I have a magic sword and a psychic creature which may or may not be a dragon. Since I never finished the book, I haven't had to decide. I want to add a scifi twist to this one, and I'm still working on it off and on. The world building got a bit too info dumpy. I need to streamline and condense it.

Stink- horror, which has a toilet facilitated suicide. It is everything the title implies. I will finish this one after I revise the beginning chapters because I love the cast of characters. Unfortunately, I had a head-hopping habit with this story. I didn't know better back in the day.

Psyche's Redemption, I went back to my romance roots with this one, and I finished it, ha! I later changed the title to Dying For A Kiss. I know, I know ...

I have many more, but they're even more ridiculous so I'll end it here. So, how do you come up with a kick ass title? Is there a trick to it? If so, please share. I'm desperate for help.


  1. I usually name my WIP after the main character until I can find a better idea. I save all my title ideas into a word file, taking them and evolving them from bad to worse, knowing none of them are right.

    The perfect title is more of a Eureka moment. It just hits you.

  2. I tend to do one word titles related to the manuscript too. Then I wait for the Eureka moment, but I think my titles tend to be a bit cheesy. I'm hoping that with practice I'll get better at picking them:-p

  3. I stink at titles! I did have one that totally clicked with the story - but sadly, I don't know if that story will ever see the light of day. I always title them by the name of the main characters too :)

    Julie Garwood was the first romance writer I ever read - I love how she always puts the fun in the stories too!

    1. Fun in a romance is what draws me back to an author. I can't handle a sad romance.

      I hope your title gets to see the light someday. It would be a shame to waste a perfectly good title:-) since they're so hard to come up with.

  4. I hope my titles are okay. I've had a few people that enjoyed the combining of words to form the title for Neverlove. Some have said it has an impact, like saying it makes people immediately think. I hope that's good lol!

    I came up with the title because I wanted something short and that spoke to the novel itself. Although the book has Cleansers, Harvestors, a Devourer and lost souls, the main characters - Abby and Basil - had one thing in common. Neither of them had ever really known love until they found each other. So this is where I pulled Neverlove from.

    I like titles that capture the essence of a story. I think back to The Color Purple and realize that - in my own thinking - the title comes from the color purple wanting what the main character wants. It just wants to be loved. The movie, True Grit, captures the essence of the depth of grit it takes for the young girl in the movie to go to the extremes she did to seek vengeance.

    1. I love your title Angela. It does make an impact. Actually, what triggered the idea of writing this post came from me thinking about what great titles you and Gwen have for your books. Combined they're catchy and unforgettable.

      Now you know, the two of you inspire me:-)

  5. I like to sum up the whole book with one word or phrase. (Easier than 250 words for a query letter, lol!)

    As a teenager, I used to comb through the dictionary for fun and look up new words. Some of those filtered into chapter titles or even book titles, "if the shoe fit."

    1. I love the title of your book, Joyce. I have no idea what it means though. I'm far enough along in my read that the clues are dropping. I think I'm starting to figure out the mystery...kind of, lol.

    2. Hee hee. Margaret had to finish reading the book just so she could discover what the title meant. It's been my biggest hook so far. lol

    3. Ha! I know now. Wait until you read my comment, lol. Trefury freaked me out. I'm thirty pages into Part 3, I'll be finished by this weekend barring an emergency situation. I want to get it back to you before NaNo.


Now it's your turn. What do you think?

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