Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's In A Name?

First I want to send out a big welcome to our new followers! I look forward to checking out each of your blogs. Now to today's topic: Choosing a book title can be a daunty and frustrating task for some writers. During a past #WritersRoad chat, we discussed book titles. It made me think long and hard on what is in a name and what a title is supposed to do.

Titles aren't typically something I stress over. If it doesn't come to me at the beginning of the novel then it usually hits me somewhere before the end. However, the last book I wrote was different. I couldn't think of anything so I settled on a temporary title. Now I fear I may be stuck with it and I don't like it. The fabulous people participating in the #WritersRoad chat gave me some excellent ideas on brainstorming titles though. Write your query letter or your one-sentence hook before the book is done~or even started if you like~it will help you get to the heart of the novel. In the heart of the novel usually lies the best title. That's my typical method.

One friend on #WritersRoad suggested reading through the dialogue of your novel. This sounds like a very refreshing idea to me. I've got to try it! Another suggested thinking about the emotions the novel elicites the strongest. Another suggested brainstorming several titles just in case the publisher decides to change it. Others suggested the title asking a question, making the reader curious, a play on words, the list went on. When in doubt I think I'm going to try them all! For great discussions on writing related topics, join us on Monday nights at 6pm PT at this link.



  1. Titles are hard for me to develop. This is a GREAT IDEA!!!!

  2. I like that idea of writing the hook before the book to find the title. Gonna try that. The strangest suggestion I ever heard (and maybe a good one) is invite a group of people over for dinner (not writers). Tell them all to bring a word to work with to help you find a title for your book (which you've told them a little about); have a whiteboard or something to play with, and have a game with all the words to see if you can land on a great title.

    1. I love that idea Linda! I've got to try it. Thanks for the suggestion!