QueryTracker Community
December 18, 2017, 02:37:45 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Note: This forum uses different usernames and passwords than those of the main QueryTracker site. 
Please register if you want to post messages.

This forum is also accessible by the public (including search engines).
Poll
Question: Which title do you like best?
Blackberry Jam - 5 (62.5%)
Another Song I Wrote You - 0 (0%)
Keep Me From Wishing - 1 (12.5%)
none of the above - 2 (25%)
Total Voters: 8

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Poll - Title for YA Contemporary  (Read 960 times)
slightlysmall
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 277
Offline Offline

Posts: 1989



WWW
« on: October 19, 2017, 05:07:08 PM »

So the book I'm currently querying has been called Blackberry Jam since before I started writing it. The MC's family makes much of their money making blackberry jam, but the summer the book takes place during has a drought. There is no blackberry jam this year.

She does write songs, many of them about her childhood crush, Lucas. Option 2 points to that a bit, but while I can see it fitting the "genre" of a quiet contemporary, I'm not sure it's right.

Option 3 is the name of the first song we see her write in the book, and, since each chapter opens with a stanza of her lyrics, it's technically the first line of the book. It fits several of the plot lines, including how many of the characters live in their pasts and can't be kept from wishing.

I've started querying and have about half rejections and half no responses yet. While this is only out of 6 or so, I'm still... displeased... with the ratio. I haven't sent any out with the synopsis, and I think my query and pages are as good as they'll get, but the title is giving lots of people the wrong focus in the book and maybe a new one can't hurt?
Logged

J. Paul Barnett
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 1
Offline Offline

Posts: 34



WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 06:11:27 PM »

I'm fond of KEEP ME FROM WISHING. I don't have a concrete reason for liking it, but it just strikes me as a nice title. Makes it sound like the main character is in a place where wishing never works out well, so she'd rather not wish for better things at all. Not sure if that's what you want to convey, but that's what it makes me think.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 06:18:48 PM by J. Paul Barnett » Logged
007 fan
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 651
Offline Offline

Posts: 1590


Eye right store ease.


« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 10:20:32 PM »

I totally understand the reassessing. I did it after just 5 even though 10 is what people suggest to send out before making a change. Grin

Of the three, I like the 3rd the best. I had a title come to mind while reading your post. I hope you don't mind me sharing. Maybe it will spur some more ideas for you...

Songs of Summer

It can represent the songs she literally writes and the different events that shape her through summer. Or maybe there's another music-related term you could use in place of "songs", one that can have a double-meaning.

The other idea I have is to find phrasing that represents the physical drought in the story to the drying up of her childhood fantasy/wish of a life with Lucas.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you have better luck as your querying progresses.  Smiley

Logged

writer                                                                          Computer Basher
Munley
Sr. Member
****

Karma: 32
Offline Offline

Posts: 144


Atlantic Canada


« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 12:43:31 AM »

. . . The other idea I have is to find phrasing that represents the physical drought in the story to the drying up of her childhood fantasy/wish of a life with Lucas.


I had a similar thought. Blanca's withered-up dream regarding Lucas, the dried-up blackberries, using a line from one of B's songs as a title, and this poll on alternative titles got me to thinking about titles that echo -- or use outright -- well-known lines from poems, the Bible, slogans or sayings that sprang up at certain historical times, hymns, etc.

Examples:

Grapes of Wrath

The Sun Also Rises

A Raisin in the Sun
, a play by Lorraine Hansberry

Hansberry's title, as you may already know, is a line from a poem by Langston Huges --

which seems to have two different titles -- "Harlem" and "A Dream Deferred"


What happens to a dream deferred?

    Does it dry up
    like a raisin in the sun?
    Or fester like a sore-
    And then run?

    Does it stink like rotten meat?
    Or crust and sugar over-
    like a syrupy sweet?

    Maybe it just sags
    like a heavy load.

    Or does it explode?

In the play, a mother, son, and daughter living in a poor Harlem neighborhood have competing dreams for what should happen with the $10,000 insurance pay-out after the father dies. The father, who scraped by as a limousine driver, had had his own dreams of finding a way to better provide for his family, but didn't live to see that day. If you haven't read the play, there are some good summaries online.

I'm pasting in something you wrote in response to D's post in you plot summary thread:


I'm thinking at this point my problem might be my title. And the subplots I'm leaving out. But anyway:

At the climax (which, yes, is the fire and Lucas's confession), the blackberries burn and so does her tree house. Blanca was clinging to her past via her tree house, and her mother was clinging to her past via the blackberries. Leaving to let them burn and seeing her future as songwriting is a huge character improvement for a girl who's spent her whole life focused on her future as represented in the now-burning tree house.


In my mind, I extended this to how Blanca neglects her obligations to the family blackberry business that summer during her single-minded pursuit of Lucas, which doesn't pan out in the end. Neither does the blackberry business. The business and the dried-up berries are a concern for both Blanca and her mother, much like what happens to the $10,000 in that play concerns the whole family, though the dreams that money inspires are different for each of them. I'm  thinking of how the "drying up" of the blackberries has a broader scope than just the mother's clinging to her past.

The fire in the end masks that effect in a way, and almost seems like a deus ex machina in a Greek play, where some god or goddess descends out of the blue and neatly wraps everything up -- whereas I was thinking how the shriveled-up blackberries represented the dried-up dreams. (Which, as you can see, got me to thinking of Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun.)

So this is why I voted for the title Blackberry Jam. If you're not happy with that one, maybe a line from within one of B's songs would be a possibility.




« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 12:58:51 AM by Munley » Logged
slightlysmall
Hero Member
*****

Karma: 277
Offline Offline

Posts: 1989



WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 11:51:15 AM »

In my mind, I extended this to how Blanca neglects her obligations to the family blackberry business that summer during her single-minded pursuit of Lucas, which doesn't pan out in the end. Neither does the blackberry business. The business and the dried-up berries are a concern for both Blanca and her mother, much like what happens to the $10,000 in that play concerns the whole family, though the dreams that money inspires are different for each of them. I'm  thinking of how the "drying up" of the blackberries has a broader scope than just the mother's clinging to her past.

The fire in the end masks that effect in a way, and almost seems like a deus ex machina in a Greek play, where some god or goddess descends out of the blue and neatly wraps everything up -- whereas I was thinking how the shriveled-up blackberries represented the dried-up dreams. (Which, as you can see, got me to thinking of Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun.)

So this is why I voted for the title Blackberry Jam. If you're not happy with that one, maybe a line from within one of B's songs would be a possibility.

This is part of the reason I chose the title, and that's an excellent analysis of a book you've never read.  wink2

I posted a poll of the same on Twitter, where Blackberry Jam is also winning by quite a bit. So I'll keep the title for now. It would be incredible to see a project keep a title from before it was ever written to publication, but as I'm five queries and three rejections into my querying journey, I imagine that's a LONG ways out, if at all. Smiley
Logged

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!