Author Topic: Titles in Books  (Read 6609 times)

Offline Coldfeet

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Re: Titles in Books
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2009, 07:32:19 AM »

I know this a bit off topic, buy my son lived his first nine days with no name. Just couldn't decide. Finally chose the simple name, Tom. Love the name. Love the kid. He's now in his thirties. Somehow the name seems just right. He likes it, too.

Guess a book can't like its own title, but it's a relief to know your own daughter or son is glad for the name you picked. I grew up wishing my parents had picked a different name for me. I wonder what books would say if they had a chance to answer the question, "Do you like the title your creator gave you?"

A dear friend spent two weeks trying out names for her daughter before settling on one. 

Picking titles intimidates me as well.  I've recently had a change of heart about the title I've been querying with, but I haven't decided whether to change it or not.  It's a a question of what I want to emphasize.  And whether I consider it stand alone or part one of a trilogy.  It would be lovely if it could speak and say "Call me Ishmael," or some such thing.

Offline RDelaval

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Re: Titles in Books
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2009, 05:20:52 PM »
When I started my current ms, I was absolutely certain I knew the title. It was hardly mentioned in my first draft, but alluded to several times, specifically in the climax. It sounded beautiful. It was symbolic. It was perfect. I threw it out 2 months later. LoL The character it referenced fell to the background in the course of writing and another character took over completely without my conscious intention. So, now for a different title. I tend to play with 2 or 3 possibilities. Every few days, a friend will ask "so what's your book?" and then I discern how well a title works by how effortlessly it falls off my tongue and how my test audience reacts to it.

Please don't take offense to this, but I never thought anyone would have a hard time naming characters. That's always one of the easiest things for me...I see them in my head and the name appears. Or I'm driving down the road and see a street name that pairs up well with a first name I already baptized my characters with, etc. Voila. I've known people who name their characters and then figure out who they are, but I can't work that way. I name them when I know them. However, I freely admit that I've changed character names if they develop into something I didn't expect later on. It makes going back and editing a pain in the butt, but it's also kind of thrilling to discover another side to the people in my head.

Offline luctari

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Re: Titles in Books
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2009, 05:29:52 PM »
When you get a publisher, you better hope they love your title, too.  I've been told that the publisher pretty much picks the title.  if they like yours, great.  But if their marketing folk don't think it works, they may just pick a new one for you. 

I don't get too hung up on character names -- they tend to pop into my head, but if they don't, I just go by what they look like in my brain, and name them after somebody who looks like that.  Helps me keep things straight.  If they are minor characters and I just need a name, I might even pop open the phonebook.

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