Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Choosing a title

I don't know about you guys, but I HAVE to have a title before I start writing. I've done it with every single one of my books. If I don't have a title, the book doesn't feel real to me. Or something like that. I can't explain it. lol This has happened with all 7 of my books.

Until now.

I can't for the life of my think of a good title for my current project. It's a YA thriller/contemporary with ghosts. How's that for a mouthful?  I don't really want to shop it as a paranormal, since agents look at those lately and just move on to the next query. :P  Anyway, I have no idea what to call it. And I'm about 20,000 words in. This has never happened people!

How do you guys pick a title? Do you have to have a working title as you write? Or can you finish a whole book without having one?

Also, check out this teaser from Not Your Average Fairy Tale over at Stuck in Books today. :)

And a fabulous review at Book Briefs!

25 comments:

Tobi Summers said...

I haaaate coming up with titles. I usually come up with a working one at the beginning of the process so I have something to label my documents (usually one word that vaguely describes what the book is about... or my thoughts when I was thinking of the book... or just a word...), but I have so much trouble coming up with a real title. That's why I want to go the traditional publishing route, so hopefully someone else will come up with that for me.

Yeah, that's the reason I'm going with. ;-)

Kyra Lennon said...

I work the opposite way lol! The title is always the last thing I think of because I am rubbish at thinking of titles. I always hope to find something inside the story that would make a good title - and it usually works. :D

Shallee said...

I have to have at least a working title before I can get to the writing. It often changes multiple times, but it doesn't feel ready to write unless I have a title!

Ru said...

My titles are all horrible, so I will be of no help.

Do more people than the MC see the ghosts? Then you can call it urban fantasy. Or if the main character isn't sure whether the ghosts she's seeing are real, it's a psychological thriller where the MC might be crazy town.

Alexandra Lanc said...

I usually try and have a title beforehand, but it doesn't always work. I do get fidgety if there is no title, so I completely understand where you're coming from.

I usually try and think of what the book is going to be about -- i.e. the message that I want to send with it. I'm a large fan of messages in books, having them be about something, communicate something that's important to me, so I try and incorporate that into the title.

For instance: my Sci-Fi/Fantasy book Shadows of Past Memories is about facing the past, even if it's ugly, so I put that into the title.

Hope you can find a title soon, but until then, keep working! :)

Best of luck,

Alexandra~

S.P. Bowers said...

For me titles never come until I'm well into the book. Generally on the rewriting/editing stages. It's only then that I know the book well enough to be able to title it.

KatieO said...

Good luck! I usually go with a working title until something strikes me. None of my books have ended up with the titles they started life with!

Angie said...

I like to have one beforehand, but they often change. Once, I just wrote down a bunch of words that went with the theme of the book and tried out different combinations until I found one that worked. That's how I came up with Defenders of the Covenant, which the fourth or fifth title I'd been through on that one. Good luck!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I have the worst time coming up with a title. What I do is write the book, edit it, sit around and think about a title...and usually one finally comes and I hate it but use it anyway.

So I don't have a title until about the time I'm ready to start polishing it.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Titles are SO HARD for me! I've never started a book with one. It's always been figured out along the way, as I figure out other things in the book. Best of luck on titling yours! (And on not going crazy until you do. ;))

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I have to have a title too. I've never started a book without having a title. I admire you for writing with no title so far! Your books sounds really fun!

Madeline Jane said...

I'm terrible when it comes to titles. For the first few drafts, I refer to my WIP as Novel. I swear I have at least four unfinished "Novel"s, so maybe titles are a good idea. ;) Good luck coming up with a title!

Emily R. King said...

I like having a title too, but sometimes it takes me writing a full outline before I think of one. Give yourself time, it'll come!

Stephanie McGee said...

Titles can be rough. I usually have to come up with something before I start. But what generally ends up happening is that somewhere in the middle of draft one or draft two, inspiration will spark for a title that just absolutely fits the book on many levels.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Titles. Those are hard. I usually like to have the title first too! But it usually doesn't work out and I'm stuck calling the document "Untitled". Not very clever. Good luck picking a title!

Angela Cothran said...

Titles are also hard for me. Most of the time I have to get really far into drafting before they come.

Samantha May said...

I struggle with titles. So far the novel I'm currently writing is the only one to have a title BEFORE I started writing. I'm off to check out the teaser :)

i'm erin. said...

Usually I can come up with a great title, but I just cant write the book that fits to the title. ha ha...but seriously. Then I write a book and can't figure out what a good title is. That's so hard.

Jessie Humphries said...

I am the worst at titles! Even my agent agrees, she totally wants to change A.K.A. KILLER. Whatever!

Jenny S. Morris said...

I have a really hard time if I don't have a title. I drove Kelley crazy trying to pick, Already There. She was content to keep writing without a title but I had to know.

I don't know how to pick titles. Some just come to me others I have to really work at.

Rebecca Taylor said...

I mostly feel like my titles suck. But, I try to use something from the book--generally. Like a snappy line, or something related to the theme. It is NOT my favorite thing to do, clearly.

Nicole said...

Usually, my titles come to me as I write. And they sometimes changes more than once, so I don't really worry about it until I've got the rest of my edits worked out.

Patti said...

I suck at titles. I still hate the titles for the two books I've written. Finally with my third book, I hit pay dirt and found a good title. Good luck thinking of one. If you find any tricks let me know.

Kelley Lynn said...

As Jen says farther up in these comments here, I can totally write without titles. It doesn't bother me. Then I'll be writing and I'll write down a phrase or type a word that sends goosebumps up my arms and I'll know I've found the title.

That didn't exactly happen for Already There because Jen wanted a title like, yesterday. Haha. So we had a text brainstorming session when Jen couldn't handle it anymore and came up with the title. I still got goosebumps when we found it though :)

Brooke R. Busse said...

I am most definitely one of those title before-hand people. Names are a huge part of my process. I hate not knowing. And I'm actually not that bad at figuring my titles out.