FINDING A TITLE FOR YOUR BOOK
Some authors know from the get go what their title will be, others don’t come up with a name until a good chunk of the way through writing – or until they finish.
FIND A NAME WITH THE WOW FACTOR
Coming up with the right title is not always easy. You don't want any old name - you want something with the wow factor. If nothing jumps out, give it a working title until the story develops and an idea for the real title hits you. It may come to you as the story unfolds or during editing. It may pop into your head in the wee small hours of the morning when you are not even thinking about it. You’ve heard the phrase "sleep on it".
In an earlier post, I talked about some writers being freestylers rather than outliners and follow their muse wherever it takes them. If you’re a freestyler, a title may emerge while following the twists and turns of a storyline you hadn’t even thought about when you started.
Here are some suggestions I’ve come across that might help ...
* Think what gave you the inspiration for the story in the first place.
* Let your readers choose. If you are on social media, you could run a competition for your fans to make the decision for you. I know authors who do this with their book covers.
* Try summarising the premise of your story in a few words or sentence and see if something sparks an idea.
* Is there something in the opening chapter that catches your eye?
* Or a phrase you repeat in the book?
* Is there a theme going through your book that might provide a title?
FINDING A NAME
Keep your antennae tuned in. You may hear a phrase or word or read something interesting. Keep a list of anything you find interesting. It’s a pain if you don’t. A week or two later you could kick yourself as you try to remember and unravel it from all the jumble twirling around in your head like clothes in a spin dryer. Use buzzwords that grab the readers’ attention from the get go. Think outside the box. Don’t stick rigidly to the potential titles you’ve jotted down. Perhaps one word from one idea, another from another and a third from another may be the perfect title.
Is your book humorous, a crime story, erotic, for children, or perhaps a romance? Some authors choose a name that sets the tone of their book; something that reflects what the book is all about. Ask yourself, "what is my book about". Jot down a few sentences. Something may leap out and slap you in the face.
Ask your friends and family to come up with ideas. They may give you a great title or something you can develop.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION
My debut novel for children is called ANTics. The characters all have names that describe their personality and end in ant. I wanted something with the word ant in it. The word antics, I feel, perfectly sums up the series of adventures my little characters have.
You had the imagination to come up with a story idea in the first place, so you will get the inspiration for a title. For some, it can be easy, for others it may takes a little longer. The main thing is don’t worry. Finish the book and think about it later.
If you're an author, how do you come up with your titles? And if you are a reader, does a good book title draw you in? And what do you think makes a good title? Let me know.
To read a sample of ANTics click HERE
Thanks for reading and don't forget to keep reaching for the stars