Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

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Crystal
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Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by Crystal » December 17th, 2009, 5:54 pm

I am about 1/3 of the way through my first novel.

I have several friends that are reading it and giving me feedback and the one thing I am faced with is "What's the title?"

Well honestly I don't have one yet. So far I have called it Angelina (main character and what Word decided to save it under as it was the first thing I typed)
I know that is not what I want to title the book, but I am at my wits ends trying to come up with something
A)original (a few of my ideas have been used already)
B)that fits the story

So tell me this, how did you/do you title your work?
Working my very first attempt at a mystery novel. 1st draft

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SmurfHead
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by SmurfHead » December 17th, 2009, 6:30 pm

I had a pretty difficult time finding a title. I've been working on my book since May and I didn't come up with a title until early November. What finally worked was writing out a list of terms that were specific to the book, and then trying to combine them into something I didn't want to throw out the window.

I finally settled on SHIFT (not the best title, but it works for now) only to find out that there's another urban fantasy (not YA, but still waaaay too close for comfort) coming out in the next few months.

So I guess it's back to the drawing board. At the very least, I've got a list of potential titles floating around my hard drive.
"Mind-bottling, isn't it? ...You know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?"

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Scott
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by Scott » December 17th, 2009, 6:33 pm

All I do is have fun with it. Every genre seems to want a certain something, so try and play along...but not. Toy with words, be sneaky, try and come up with the WORST title ever. If nothing else, try and imagine your book in printed form and "see" what looks cool.

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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by CharleeVale » December 17th, 2009, 7:10 pm

I say go with what you want. The publisher's might change the title on you anyway. Stephanie Meyer's 'Twilight' was originally called 'Forks' when she got accepted by her agent. Can you imagine 'The Fork Saga'? haha.

For my own titles I try to fins something that is one or two words that encompasses the entire feel of the book. My WIP is called The Prophecy, but that title is not really appropriate for the book anymore so I am on the hunt once again!

CV

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shadow
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by shadow » December 17th, 2009, 8:13 pm

I am still struggeling with a great title. But don't worry it will come to you:) I am not so keen about using the MCs name as a title but it could work...It depends. As for finding out if the title is taken I would suggest searching it on amazon, and wiki, and you library website. It should show up on one of those if that title is taken. Hapy writing!'
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Terry Towery
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by Terry Towery » December 21st, 2009, 9:23 pm

I struggled mightily with the title of my recently finished mss. I had a list of about 40 possibilities on my hard drive and just could not find the right one. I ended up with "The Devil You Don't Know," which is actually a snippet of dialogue from one of my characters. It summed the story up perfectly without giving away too much.

But it was hard. Now, I'm doing the same thing with my WIP.

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Crystal
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by Crystal » December 21st, 2009, 10:01 pm

Wow Terry I love that title!!
Working my very first attempt at a mystery novel. 1st draft

Madeleine
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by Madeleine » December 22nd, 2009, 11:12 pm

I haven't written my book yet. I've just been plotting for months, but I have a title I love. Hopefully I won't go crazy and make some drastic change in the plot that makes my perfect title irrelevant. (Oh goodness. Why must I be so unpredictable?)

Anyway, my title's changed three times. I would have changed it more often if I hadn't just left it as it was in the beginning for awhile.

Here’s a list of all my titles, including the present one:

1) Your Contradictory Darling
2) Yearly Intrigue (didn't really make sense)
3) Yearly Hubbub
4) That Boy in the Shed (doesn’t appear on amazon! Yahoo!)

My sub-plot evolved into my main plot and vice versa, so things had to change. I love the title I've got now, and when I came up with it, I decided it would be included in a bit of dialogue somewhere in the book. In the end, it's absolutely perfect, and if you knew what I know about the plot, I hope you'd agree! (I haven't told anyone what my book's about because I'm hoping I'll be more excited if it's a secret.)

I wish you all luck with your titles!

-Madeleine
"A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life." - John Milton

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BransfordGroupie
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by BransfordGroupie » December 22nd, 2009, 11:17 pm

Madeleine wrote:I haven't written my book yet. I've just been plotting for months, but I have a title I love. Hopefully I won't go crazy and make some drastic change in the plot that makes my perfect title irrelevant. (Oh goodness. Why must I be so unpredictable?)

Anyway, my title's changed three times. I would have changed it more often if I hadn't just left it as it was in the beginning for awhile.

Here’s a list of all my titles, including the present one:

1) Your Contradictory Darling
2) Yearly Intrigue (didn't really make sense)
3) Yearly Hubbub
4) That Boy in the Shed (doesn’t appear on amazon! Yahoo!)

My sub-plot evolved into my main plot and vice versa, so things had to change. I love the title I've got now, and when I came up with it, I decided it would be included in a bit of dialogue somewhere in the book. In the end, it's absolutely perfect, and if you knew what I know about the plot, I hope you'd agree! (I haven't told anyone what my book's about because I'm hoping I'll be more excited if it's a secret.)

I wish you all luck with your titles!

-Madeleine
Grrrr... come on, spill! What's the titel ;-P
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REVELATION: The Book of Angel - First draft complete :-)
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by Madeleine » December 23rd, 2009, 12:04 am

BransfordGroupie wrote:Grrrr... come on, spill! What's the titel ;-P
Oh. Whoops! It was That Boy in the Shed. I guess I wasn't very clear! ( :
"A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life." - John Milton

Blog: Worbird

The Lemonites Status:

1st Draft - Done
Out With Betas

Kaitlyne
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by Kaitlyne » December 23rd, 2009, 5:59 am

I find titles tough as well (unless the idea starts with a title, that is). I generally call the story by the MC's name as well until I have something. This one I spent awhile trying to come up with a title for, and the one I liked best just seemed far too generic. I started playing around with synonyms, and found something that I like. I'm not married to it or anything, though. If a publisher wanted to change it (within reason lol) I wouldn't really care. Oh, I also check Amazon as well to see what pops up. A lot of titles have been reused over the years, some numerous times, so I try to avoid those.

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jmcooper
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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by jmcooper » December 23rd, 2009, 7:17 am

Good post. I have been wondering the same thing. I have four books in the series I"m working on so I need four titles! Ack! The series is titled The Dreamtraveler Legacy, which I like, but the four books have pretty bland working titles. I wanted four terms related to dreaming, but could only come up with "Lucid" and it ended up not really making sense with the story-line. So...I guess I"ll just keep the working titles and hope someone comes along with a better idea someday...

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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by ErinGayle » December 25th, 2009, 7:06 pm

Crystal wrote:I am about 1/3 of the way through my first novel.

I have several friends that are reading it and giving me feedback and the one thing I am faced with is "What's the title?"

Well honestly I don't have one yet. So far I have called it Angelina (main character and what Word decided to save it under as it was the first thing I typed)
I know that is not what I want to title the book, but I am at my wits ends trying to come up with something
A)original (a few of my ideas have been used already)
B)that fits the story

So tell me this, how did you/do you title your work?
The Bible is a good source. Not that you have to quote it but I use it to spark ideas. E.g. the quote 'Shoot your arrows at Babylon' could become 'Take Your Arrows to Iraq'. 'Woe to him who quarrels with his maker' might become 'Fighting With God'.
Books of quotes are good, too. Same for poetry books. Hope this helps.
ErinGayle

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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by RLS » December 28th, 2009, 4:40 pm

I was told early on that it was fine to come up with a working title, but frequently publishers change it. I came up with one i liked, but also kept a file for any and all titles that came to mind during the writing process. Once I secured representation, I shared all of them with my agent, and she agreed that the working title was the one to go out with (i.e. to submit to publishers) but reiterated they may change it. While I like my working title, I am not wedded to it. That said, I would NOT be happy if the publisher ripped off a more famous title. (For ex. The Mommy wears Prada ... or the like.) Other than that, I am - A) hopeful I sell my forsaken ms and B) curious what they (whoever the hell THEY are) come up with.

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Re: Finding an unforgettable (and hopefully unused) title...

Post by DSL » December 30th, 2009, 4:03 pm

I agree with Terry. Draw from a jewel of a line from your book. Verbs can be interesting titles too.

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