Welcome to Week 8 of the MFRWauthors blog challenge. This week’s prompt is: How I Choose a Book Title. #MFRWauthor #amwriting #booktitles
Good Titles may roll off of the tongues of some authors, but not mine. This is often why I refer to my projects as WIP – work in progress, and tell you right up front that it is tentatively titled XXX.
It is strange, but when I am in my writing group, I can come up with good titles for someone else’s work easier than my own.
For Red Wine & Roses, that title came rather easily. It was the key scene that I wrote for a flash piece, then later developed into the full novel. Red wine and roses were touchpoints to Derek and Julia’s dates from the beginning so it seemed like a logical title. Derek has an old fashioned view about romance that in his mind, one expression of his love for Julia is by showering her with red roses. Towards the end of the story, after the darkest moment, the reader will see the depth of his love expressed in this manner.
For my second book Quotidiandose: 30 Days of Sass, I had lengthy debates over whether to use that for the title or not. I thought about just going with 30 days of Sass. This book is a compilation of 30 short essays tinged with a lot of sass. A humorous view on life from the writer’s desk, while offering a little motivation to the reader, this nonfiction book is straight from the heart.
Titles are something that typically, I ponder over and then tend to stress over. Consider the current WIP which I am targeting for completion by the end of April 2017. (Please help me stay accountable to this date!) My original story idea was titled Oral Dilemma. An erotic short where the Main character was always getting into trouble with her mouth via smart-alec quips, vocal talents behind the microphone at the bar, or oral talents in the erotic sense. It fit and I thought it was clever. However, while dusting this off from my files and giving it a thorough once over, I realized how bad my pantsing was. This was a serial that I shared on a former group blog I was managing editor for called Storytime Trysts. First of all, I cringed at rereading it, scratching my head at what I thought I was doing. Secondly, the pantsing gave me a lot of background scenes, but no real story. I really liked this character Roxanne Winters though, she had a story that needed to be told.
I basically have dissected this story, taken it apart and tossed out the majority. I had 57,000 words in this story. The bulk of that is gone and it currently sits at 21,354 with a revised outline, a real plot, and very real character goals. Oral Dilemma was no longer appropriate, nor did it really fit the story. I came up with the title Roxy Sings The Blues after debating several other options: The Blues Singer, Foxy Roxy, Little Girl Blue, Whiskey River (I couldn’t go with that one because I decided to cut out the lengthy section of her falling into an alcoholic abyss.) and finally landed on Roxy Sings the Blues. It fits, it’s concise and there aren’t twenty other titles out there with the same name.
Roxy Sings the Blues is another stand alone romance, but this one is romance suspense. The tentative blurb for it is:
Scars tell the story of a past. Roxy’s scars aren’t visible but they have carved her deeply and the pain they have caused pours out through soulful song. If facing a motherless future wasn’t enough, a failed relationship from her past resurfaces to torment her. Just when she was trying to build a new life for herself, trouble making Devon Miller drags her into his chaotic life. The stakes are high as Roxy sits in the spotlight of a dangerous investigation.
Devon, a homicide detective is hot for the case and stirring embers of a forbidden fire. Will Roxy hit the right note and help her old flame solve his big case or will she be left singing the blues?
An author’s book is like one of their children. We give them life. We watch them grow. We correct them when they go down the wrong path. We scrub them clean to be presentable to company. We hope that when they go out into the big world, they are ready. We have to cut the chord and let them stand on their own. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention. As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series. Especially if that name is
Our book babies need titles that will grab a reader’s attention. This is an artform in and of itself. One that I feel that with some of my future projects – Valkyrie’s Curse (NO, I haven’t given up on that one.) Realm Wars (This is the series title for the books that will include Faere Warrior, Faere Guardian, Faere Mage, and two more that I haven’t decided on titles for.)I am pleased with my title names. But for others – The Hamilton Project, Vamps Couture, my dragon shifter series, my nefleheim series, I’m either not happy with my working title or don’t have a title yet. It is as personal as naming our biological children. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention. As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series. Especially if that name is
Funny story about that – my oldest daughter’s name was selected when I was 6 months pregnant. She was going to be Rachel Lynne. Many of my shower gifts were addressed to baby Rachel. However, the moment that she made her debut into this world, I looked at her while the doctor was cleaning her up, suctioning the birth gunk, and she let out that first baby wail – she was not a Rachel. For the first twenty-four hours of her life, she was Baby girl. The nurses were counselling me that I could apply for her name with the state once we decided because I was to be released soon. You know how fast they kick you out after giving birth, right?
Well, after a gruelling delivery, I had a fever, extremely low iron, and was severely dehydrated. They kept me for another full day in which time my wonderful hubs brought the baby name books back to the hospital and we pored over them. I’m happy to say her name suits her, but it’s not Rachel. But our readers won’t take our babies into their homes if their names aren’t catchy enough to grab attention. As a reader, I am very picky about titles. I find I do tend to pick up titles with nothing but Names especially if in a series.
That’s how we want our books to be – well suited with a title. It can be a tricky thing.
How do I come up with a title? Usually, it’s an element of the story like the roses, or the obvious sass. Sometimes it is the character’s name. I have to admit, I see the titles of other authors and wish that I were as clever. Ah well, maybe someday.
Let’s go take a look at how others come up with their titles!
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You can find other posts in this series here:
- Raindrops on Roses
- They’ll Survive – I Guess
- Binge Watching #MFRWauthor
- Thank God for Grace in Editing!
- #MFRW Best Friends
- Crafty Author #MFRWauthor
- Musical Mayhem #MFRWauthor
Write on my friends, write on!
Isn’t it funny or not so funny how we can go back and read some of our old work after learning so much and we’re like what was that? It wasn’t even a real story. I remember I thought I was clever then and this reads…well, not as I intended it to be. I can’t wait to read this novel, so I’ll help keep you accountable :D. That’s why I’ve started asking you every day how the writing is coming.
Isn’t that the truth? I thought I knew what I was doing, thought I could write. Then I read through it and cringe realizing how little I knew and yet I thought I did. I welcome the accountability! Thank you! You have certainly inspired me with your newest release!
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I think all of your story titles were quite fitting.