Thursday, December 10, 2009

Are you good at titles?

I've been searching for a title ever since I started my new WIP back in July. I just can't think of one that makes me jump up and down with total and complete bliss. I usually name my story first thing. This time though, nothing comes to mind. Oh, I have it named in my documents, because I need to know how to find it. But it's a fake name. A counterfeit, if you will.

I've thrown out names to Beth. None have made her do the happy dance. She'll go, "Uh, well... uh." I don't want to hear her stutter. :) I would like to see her do the happy dance. Because I found the title to end all titles. Sometimes she'll just look at me. Those titles that get that reaction, get tossed for later use maybe. Maybe. And sometimes she'll say, "Not for YA, Robyn." I know if it's a YA book, the title needs to be sophisticated, intriguing. It needs to scream, "this book is not MG.

Is it that important? Really? Will Mr./Mrs. super duper cool agent really read my story and say,"I love this novel. It makes me do the happy dance, but I can't represent it, because the title is a bunch of mumbo jumbo."

Do titles just jump right into your heads? If so, how can I condition my brain to accept titles? :)

I have been thinking of a title contest. We shall see.

31 comments:

  1. A title contest is a good idea! You may just find the perfect title that way, or at least something to help brainstorm. Have a blessed day:)

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  2. That's what I was thinking, Karen. I know I need to find a title. It's dragging me down. I need to KNOW what the name is. :)

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  3. I agree with Karen, bring on the contest! It will make the brainstoriming more fun if nothing else.

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  4. Oh man, I hear you! I am horrible with titles. :(

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  5. whoops, I meant *brainstorming*

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  6. laurel, I think I will. Sounds like it would be exciting. :)

    Oh and brainstorming, right. :)

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  7. Kristi, I use to be great with titles. Now I've lost my touch. So you could enter the contest anyway and see what you can come up with. :)

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  8. I don't think a title will prevent a book from getting noticed by agents/editors. But I *do* think a good title will make you stand out more.

    But I'm not the one to ask! I'm still not happy with LONG WAY HOME as a title...

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  9. A little bit of knowledge I gleaned from an agent's blog . . . no matter the brilliance of an author's title, at some point an agent, editor and/or publisher will ask the author to change the title! Yes, it happens.

    I sometimes have a title in mind before I start a project, or soon after I start. Then, there are the times where I go through multiple titles before finally deciding on the perfect title.

    I've even gleaned a title or two from within a project . . . a sentence that stood out, or even a phrase.

    Then again, no matter the title . . . some agent, editor and/or publisher might say "Hey, Robyn, we need a different title"!

    S

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  10. If a publisher doesn't like your title, they'll change it, so I wouldn't stress too much. Wouldn't that aggrivate you to no end...spending month after month, just searching for that perfect title, and you sell the book only to hear, first thing, "Oh, by the way, we're changing the title to this."

    Still, the idea for a title contest sounds really fun. I'd definitely join in the brainstorming!

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  11. Beth, well you know how STUCK I am. Sheesh. I just want to know what to call it. :)

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  12. Scott, I know they could change the title. But I want PEACE OF MIND. Knowing that at least I like the title. :)

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  13. Linda, it would annoy me that I had spent so much time worrying over something that was about to be changed anyway. Still, I want to have an eye-catching title. So you're in then?

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  14. When I write my poems, I leave the title assignment until the end. I like the idea that the title kind of grows in my mind (unconsciously maybe) as I work out the verse. I think a title contest would be a fun, good idea. I love the chance to brainstorm with everyone!

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  15. Kelly, I agree and I have waited thinking that something would break. But nothing. I'm leaning toward the contest. :)

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  16. How far are you into this story? Done? Otherwise, it may come to you by the time you finish. I'd be glad to help you brainstorm, but it is true that agents and editors often change them anyway. A friend of mine was disappointed when a title she loved was tossed out.

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  17. Tricia, I'm no where close to being done. But I am almost midway. Shouldn't I have an idea of one? I feel like I'm spending needless time on worrying though. Kind of like when I first started writing and wanted to find THE hook to begin the book with. :)

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  18. I think a title contest would be a great idea!

    I am not normally very good with titles but lately I've been coming up with a few that I really like. I wondered the same thing myself about agents not as enthusiastic to represent your work because of a poor title. I think it helps if writers come up with the best they can or think of a few alternatives before sending the story in just in case.

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  19. Cindy, I know people say that it wouldn't matter to an agent, but I think an agent would say, "Hmmm, she can't even think of a decent title."

    And I agree. It's best to have some alternatives. Just in case! :)

    And I would love to see the titles writers come up with. :)

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  20. I would LOVE a title contest. Titles can help to set the Moral Compass, to hook readers--just like an irresistible cover!!

    Patti

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  21. Patti, I think I'm going to do one. And I agree. Who knows? The publisher just might love it. :)

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  22. I agree, I think a great title may help you, but it's your writing that matters. I have a hard time with titles as well.

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  23. Titles for my blog entries usually come pretty easily. It's funny, because typically I have an idea of what I'm going to write and a title tends to 'pop into my head.' I've been mulling over a devotional series - can't say I've come up with a title for the first book, either! I think an outstanding title will come to you - try not to pressure yourself for one at this point in your WIP! God bless! :)

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  24. Patti, Yep the writing matters most, but a strong title helps too. :)And I need one! :)

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  25. Maria, Some titles come easily for me too. I don't know why this one is giving me such fits. Maybe more prayer about the matter will help. :)

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  26. Titles are not my strength. But, many, many authors do not get to keep the title they slaved over anyhow, so I wouldn't worry about it too much!

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  27. Jill, I know. I just want to have a good one. You know, I don't want to send it off wrapped in a pretty bow with a stinky title. I worry about stuff like this. :)

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  28. Every book I've ever written or had an idea for (nine genre fiction, 1 complete literary work, and three more in the pipeline, including current project which I'm seriously researching now)I start with a title. don't ask my hwo or why, but that's what gets me going!

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  29. Sorry. Spelling gremlin hard at work in my blog posts today! That should read:

    ...don't ask me how or why but ...

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  30. Hey Ann, I want to be like that. I need a title. :)

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