Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I'm having a heck of a time coming up with a title for this sequel I keep yammering about. This means the new novel is relegated to being referred to as 'the sequel'. Poor thing. It really does deserve a name of its own.

For me, titles either come to be during the concept stage or once I've finished the rough draft. This one is elusive. Maybe because I've got it in the back of my head that this title needs to relate to the first title, keeping in some sort of theme or matching type name - both single words, for instance. Book one's title fit so perfectly and the angels sang when it came to me. Is the sequel having performance anxiety?

Since I keep reading that titles often get changed by agents or publishers -- here I go being optimistic again -- I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't bang my head on the desk over the title quite so much. Yes, it will need one, but perhaps more of a placeholder effort will do at this stage.

If I could even come up with a placeholder.

How do you come up with titles? Where in the process does it come to you, and do you find it easy or hard?


  1. For me it depends on the story. Sometimes I have the title before I write, other times I name it after one fo the charcters then wait until the perfect line in the book hits me. For example, "The Strongest Bond." It represents what's important to my character, but I didn't digure it out until 1/2 through the book. Oh, and yes. They'll change yoru title most of the time, but it's still your baby, and giving it a name is a way of nurturing him/her. So, name away, I say!

  2. I do Krista's Title Brainstorm first (you can look it up using the Awesome MegasearchTM on CC if you don't know what I'm talking about) and if nothing comes up, then I stuff my nasal passages with Garbanzo beans and chop myself in half with a chainsaw (the title brainstorm has always worked, so I haven't needed to do this yet).
    But I would say, if it doesn't work for you, then you should definitely consider using Pinto beans instead of Garbanzo beans. Not quite as abrasive.
    I'd never heard that they change your title! I like my titles! Of course, they probably only change it if it doesn't fit or if there's already a book out with that title...so I guess they know what's best.

  3. The title usually comes to me early. If not, it's very hard for me to think of one until I am finished. *sigh*

    I'll have to check out Spammy's link on CC. ^^

  4. I think I've usually had a title come to me with my first images of the novel. I saw the scene for Aundes Aura where Saera gets the Aura and was like, "And it will be called Aundes Aura." And everything built after that.

    But I don't wait for a title. I do search for one if I don't have one. But there's this other story that's been floating around in my head that's very underdeveloped, and it's the one about the fallen king and how he tries to regain his original status (from one of my blog posts). And I would like to call it "Three Bridges" (something else that came to me in one of my recent blog posts, and actually made a note about it on my post).

    I'm also excited because I decided that "Three Bridges" would be a distant prequel to "Aundes Aura", set in the same world (Válkia), 700 years ago with unrelated characters.

  5. Hey, Jean, you know me and names :-)

    Actually I've never had problems coming up with a working title. Even if it really sucks, I can live with it during the writing process because, unlike character names, the title is one of the easiest things in the world to change.

    But getting to a title I'm really happy with, now that's a whole other challenge.

    Ghosts of Innocence started life as An Eye For an Eye right the way through to the query stage. Simple, pretty much captured the essence of the story, but not very good. My method was kinda random. Brainstormed with myself throwing likely-sounding words and phrases around in my head, jotting down anything that half took my fancy, then let it perk for a few weeks. Came back and started weeding out the duds. Finally, ran my shortlist through Google to eliminate "been there, done that" and unwanted connotations.

    In contrast, The Ashes of Home came to me even before I really knew what the story was about, and so far I'm happy with the title.

    Not much of a "process". Sorry :-)

  6. I do have problem with titles too. Sometimes they come to me with the story - some, like with Inter-Sphinx Bazaar, they are the story, lol! But mostly I spend more time searching for a title than writing a story (the first draft, that is).
    My technique:
    read through parts of the story, see if I find a phrase that could be a title - or if I get an image or feeling that could capture the essence of the story.
    Do random searches on google using key words.
    Torture my friends on CC to help me. (this is my favorite pastime!)
    Good luck!

  7. I'm all for the reading through and finding a phrase or image that ends up being the title. That's worked for me a couple times. I'm hoping it will again with this particular project. :)


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