Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What's in a Title?

While tossing around ideas for what I would write about, my mind wandered to titles: blog titles, movie titles, book titles.

Titles rarely come easy to me. Ask my editor at Writer2Writer. I often send her notes when I submit my latest article stating that I don’t care for the title and would be open to suggestions. I’m always amazed when she chooses one that is perfect.

Why can’t I do that? I wrote the article for crying out loud. How can I not come up with a few catchy words to describe what it’s about?

It’s not unusual for me to wait until the very end to choose a title. When reading through a completed manuscript I hope something will jump out at me. Sometimes it works. Other times...

I didn’t even choose the title for my first children’s book, Little Shepherd. Well, I came close with this one. The original title was The Little Shepherd Boy. Since the inspiration for the story came from my singing the Christmas hymn, The Little Drummer Boy, to my girls at night, I didn’t stretch my imagination much.

Perhaps as I grow as a writer, titles will come easier to me. I’m only thirteen chapters into my next project, a middle grade historical, and I’ve already decided on the title.

Now that’s what I call progress.

A longer version of this article appeared at the Thoughts in Progress blog on November 9, 2010.


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Titles can be a pain. Sometimes one comes to me that is exactly right. Other times, I'm several edits into a story before I decide on one I like.

Anonymous said...

Titles dont' cause me much fret. I rather enjoy trying to come up with something short and pithy, something to entice a reader not just into the story, but able to evoke something after they have read the story or piece.

I will often at least have a working title just so I have something to hitch my wagon to as I write. Often something better will come to me as work progresses.

Really liked this!