Friday, August 31, 2007

You Name It, But Does It Really Matter?

Ironically, I had trouble coming up with a title to this post!

Last week, at our monthly meeting, a few of us were chatting about book titles. Later, it came to me, that the titles writers come up with are as wide and varied as the stories that are created. Some titles reflect the author's vision for the story, some might be witty or a play on words, others might just be something to call it until the writer knows the story and characters well enough.

The title of my first manuscript came to me when I heard my heroine arguing with my hero. That title was Once in a Lifetime. A couple of years and ten-zillion revisions later, I renamed the book More Than a Miracle. I had gotten to know my characters better, and this suited the story more. My second manuscript was easy...the heroine was so vivid and real from the very beginning, I knew the title immediately. In my third manuscript, I called it one thing...romantic and kind of sweet. Then it turned dark, so I changed it to reflect a suspenseful story.

My new trilogy, the ones that will be published in 2009 by Ballantine, came to me from old song titles.

What about you? How do you decide what the titles of your books will be? Even though the titles are often changed by the publisher, the titles we come up with, at least for me, are very personal and reflect something deep within the story.

Do you put a lot of thought into naming your work in progress? If so, how do you decide what your current masterpiece is named?


Deborah Matthews said...

I do try to name my ms. something appropriate, but I don't worry alot about it because 9 times out of 10 a publisher is going to change it.

The ms. I'm currently working on is called my "Ruth" story. Not because a character is named Ruth, but because it's based on the chapter of Ruth in the Bible. I'll eventually name it something.

JoAnn said...

I start out naming my mss after the hero and heroine -- ie, ErinMatt. As I get further into the story, a name that is tied to some aspect of the book will usually come to me.

I like the idea of using song titles, or takes on song titles. Can't wait to read yours, Christy!

MaryF said...

Sometimes the story leaps out at me, other times, I just name the story a word that may describe it like Gift...
and since I have not yet had the pleasure and pain of a publisher, I don't know how I will feel when the publisher renames it...I may just cry.