What’s in a Title?
How important do you think a title is when you’re choosing a new novel? I don’t mean when you know you want to read a novel by Blah Blah by Whatshername. But if you’re browsing in a bookshop, the library, or online, would a title be enough to encourage to pick up the book?
I do think titles are important, which is contributing to a certain amount of angst for me at the moment – because I haven’t got one for my new novel! And I want one!
I’ve finished the first draft; I’m on the revision stage, so I should know what its title needs to be. The fact that I don’t worries me because it suggests something about the novel isn’t right, or I haven’t got to the heart of it yet.
I console myself with the knowledge that I didn’t hit on the title for ‘Unravelling’ for a long time, and now I love that title. It was originally called ‘All That Remains Is’; then I dropped ‘Is’, but still wasn’t happy. It then became ‘Circle of Love’ – briefly! – and then ‘Unravelling Love’. And finally ‘Unravelling’.
In contrast, I knew from the beginning what ‘The Piano Player’s Son’ would be called and never wavered.
I’ve got a few possibilities which include: The Broken Road, Flawed Perspectives, Fatal Perspectives, Unframed Masterpieces, Journey Home. But I’m not sure any of those will make the final cut. Let me know if one of them leaps out at you.
I’ve just been playing around with a random title generator and got: Silent Angel (strange because one of the characters is called Angel but she’s not silent!), The Grey Shadow, School of Consort, The Door’s Snow, The Danger of the Edge, Edge in the Girlfriend. I quite like The Danger of the Edge, but The Door’s Snow? One thing about these is that three out of the five begins with ‘The’, and a lot of successful books also have ‘The’ in the title as the first word.
Hey ho! Playtime over – back to revising.Tags: The power of titles, Titles, What makes a good title for a novel?