Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's In A Name---Becoming Attached to Titles

So I was messing around on Blogger dashboard, trying to figure out how people found my blog and evidently, the number one source for the past month is through a website that promotes itself as "a place for alternative people."

Well, that is maybe good...I think. I guess I am an "alternative" person. I married a black man. I write YA books about rape and people playing deadly games. I promote books about GLBTQ serial killers. I am a critique partner for someone who writes BDSM erotica. I also teach Sunday School. And am co-chair of my kids' school PTA. Yes, some might call that being "alternative."

But I was thinking maybe these "alternative" people found me because I have a book I've written called GESTAPO and one called MANHOLE and this is appealing to "alternative people" (Once again, for the love of cheese, please don't let any skinheads be following me--if you are, trust me, you are at the wrong place).

Which brings me to titles...I've read a few funny blogs/tweets about how titles get changed constantly and not to become too attached to yours. I see this and know it to be true, but I am VERY attached to my titles. Yes, my books could be called something else, but why would they be? My titles are awesome (see what I mean by being attached?).

And honestly, to me, a book doesn't feel like a book until I have a great title to start it with. It's ridiculous, I know, but still, there's something about seeing it on that first page that is very calming. So for those of you who are curious, the next book I'll be writing (hopefully during NaNoWriMo) is going to be called GIRL 26.

How about the rest of you? Do you think I'm nuts or do you become this attached to titles as well? And what are your favorite all time book titles?




22 comments:

Talli Roland said...

I become very attached to my titles, but people are right: be prepared for them to change for a myriad of reasons! In my case, one of my titles was already taken by a novel in the same genre. Bah!

Lisa Dunick said...

I'm awful at titles. It takes me forever to think of them, and then when I do, I don't think I've ever had one I wouldn't part w/ if someone wanted to publish the book :O)

Paige said...

Girl 6 was a movie, just saying. Love you

KW said...

It's pretty hit-or-miss with me for titles (and mostly misses), so I admire your ability to come up with a title. Just case in point, I have two stories completed in draft form without titles, a near-complete novel that Lucy V. had to name for me, the last short story I posted had the name suggested by another author.

There's just so much pressure in boiling the essence of your story into a few lines that are also catchy. This is probably because things the names come after the story, though. Peek-a-boo was easy, but I came up with it at the same time that the premise formed. So that's probably the key.

Or you could start a business of naming the unnamed. I'm sure there's a market for it.

Aubrie said...

Some titles I get attached to, and others, not so much. Paradise 21 was originally Desert Nomad. Then my CP kindly pointed out the title sucks, and Paradise 21 is soooo much better.

Your titles are very unique, though. I'd try to hang on to them if you can.

KO: The Insect Collector said...

I pity the skinhead who comes here looking for a comrade.
This totally made me LOL.
I am also attached to my titles, and they really inspire the work as I'm writing... but I assume that when the time comes and a publisher wants me to change, i'll roll over like a wuss.

Kaleen said...

So attached to my current MS title. The thought of it changing makes my toes curl. Thanks for the heads up. I'll try to get used to the idea (grumble)

J. A. Bennett said...

I'm not attached to book title, but I cannot think for the life of me what else I would call it. Nothing else fits. I'm thinking maybe I'll figure it out when I'm done re-writing but I'm not sure.

I think your titles speak to who you are and I wouldn't change that :)

Miranda Hardy said...

I don't blame you. I understand the attachment, but I have changed the name of one of my novels from the advice of a very good marketer. She was right, though. Your titles are great though.

Jus Accardo said...

I'm on the attached side of the fence. Silly, but there it is. The title of my book changed in the middle of querying and it was a BIG adjustment... In the end though, it wasn't so bad, but yeah... Once that title is in your head, it IS your book. To turn around and call it by a different name is like changing your own name all of a sudden :D

Mark Noce said...

It's funny how search terms work online. Sometimes, a popular post becomes a way for people to reach you and those search terms help define your "web presence." For instance, I did a post about my favorite bearded baseball pitcher one day and as a result of its popularity "fear the beard" is now a primary search term that leads people to my blog. Go figure:)

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I don't think you're nuts. I'm just jealous because I wish I loved my current title, but I don't. I wouldn't mind if someone changed it to something better. Not at all. I just wish *I* could think of something better!! :)

Amy

E.R. King said...

I like alternative people, which explains why I enjoy your blog.
I don't get too attached to titles, but each one holds a special place in my heart!

Heather Howland said...

We signed a book called GIRL THREE. What is is about that title construction that gets everyone so excited??

Mandie Baxter said...

I love your titles, they stand out! I write the story, using a tentative title. They are not my forte.

Stephsco said...

I have a huge list of potential band names and have already named my next 6 future cats. But coming up with the right title for my WIP is DIFFICULT. For both my projects I have tentative titles, and it definitely feels unfinished. I wish I was good at creating titles. Maybe I can push that on a critique partner... ;)

Jessica Lei Silva said...

YOU ALREADY HAVE A TITLE? You are way ahead of me here. Crap.

Tara Tyler said...

i love a good title, but if it isnt working i am not above coming up with a better one!

Tara Tyler said...

ps, i found the site i wanted to tell you about. it rates your title! try it =)
http://www.lulu.com/titlescorer/index.php

Kelley said...

I'm the exact same way. I get extremely attached to my titles and have a hard time changing them. Can't concentrate on a story until I have a title, too.

M.J. Fifield said...

I am very, very attached to my titles. I'm going to have to self publish just so I don't have to risk having to change the title. Of course, that means I'd actually have to finish something so it's really a moot point. =)

The East Coaster said...

LOL - this whole post had me smiling. Um, I'm not too attached to any of my titles just yet. One I'm 93.4% sure will be changed by the pubilsher and I'm totally cool with it.