Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: Title Game

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Title Game

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I love writing. I love being able to make my living as a writer. I mean, how many jobs are there that let *figuratively* kill off the people who totally tick you off? How many jobs let you work in your jammies all day long, if you want? I can take a break when I need it, I don't have people breathing down my neck, or stealing my pens, or the cokes I left in the fridge.

Pretty close to the ideal job. At least for me.

But like alllllll jobs, there are the down sides. Deadlines are stressful. Worrying if your editor is going to like your book~very stressful. Will the readers like it? This redefines stress. There's promo, which can be a pain in the butt. And there's the days when the story just isn't flowing, the characters are screaming at you, or worse, not talking at all.

But the worst? UUUGGGGHHHHH... blurbs and titles. I hate blurbs, but if I can hammer out the basics, I can do okay. Then there are titles. I really, really hate the titles.

A title, after the cover, is the attention getter. If you don't have a decent title, will the book tank? Romance titles can be really tricky. You don't want something that reminds people of the days of bodice rippers, purple prose, etc etc... You want to make sure the title somehow conveys something important about the book.
A good title is crucial. Fortunately the title for the book I just turned in, the title sort of came naturally. About a Hunter that doesn't really Hunt any more and his own salvation is more or less what happens in the book. That one was easy. I wish they always were.

You have to find something between Love's Anguished Rhapsody (and no, I don't know if that's a real title) and Spot the Spotted Dog. Something romantic, without being boring or overly flowery. Something clever, funny, evocative.... egads, it's no wonder I hate coming up with titles. I've often run screaming to a friend or one of my editors pleading for help when it's time to title the book.

There are some titles that were so clever, I remember them even if I never read the book. Like the book I saw at the library last week. I Gave You My Heart but You Sold It Online. I don't see myself reading it, but it's a memorable title.

Some good titles...
Dance with The Devil
Dead Witch Walking
Dead Until Dark
Love Lust and Pixie Dust
What are some titles that stick with you?

**just as a side note, I'm going to be temporarily abandoning you all...I have hand surgery coming up (another one of the downsides to be a writer...carpal tunnel) but I'll be back in December. **



May said...

Oh man, I totally understand! I'm one of those writers who file their WIPs under protag name because I can't think of anything else!

Good luck with the surgery!

Cryna said...

Shi take care, and good luck on the surgery.

The title that comes to mind right away is "Baptism by Fire" which was an fire arsonist. The title has just seemed to stick in my mind.

See you when you get back.

kim said...

hot cover

Larissa said...

Good luck with the surgery!

And OMG, hate blurbs...

spyscribbler said...

Dear dog, I hate writing blurbs. I can write a whole novella in two weeks, but it'll take me a month to write the darned blurb. Oh boy, I hate writing them, hate, hate, hate ...

Best, with the surgery!

Diana said...

Shiloh, good luck with surgery.

One of my all-time favorite books (which happens to be a children's book) is called From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It's a mouthful, but I like the title because it's a great description of the book.

Kar said...

One of my all-time favorite titles, Phillip K Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep." For a romance title, Kathleen Woodiwiss' "A Rose in Winter" - there is something poetic about it.

Good luck with the surgery.