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Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday's Muse~Titles

My steampunk novel has been put on hold so that I can go back and work on editing the sequel to The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. I miss my steampunk novel and think of it often but it is a ton of fun being back with my Spruce Knoll characters. I hadn't realized how much I missed them and I had forgotten how much I loved telling their story. Reliving the joy of writing that series is a gift that I must thank all of you for. When the time comes I hope you love it as much as I do! This picture reminded me so much of my main characters that it inspired me the moment I saw it.

During the editing process of this sequel though I realized something. I hate the title, I mean flat out hate it. It must change, no it will change! Some books are easier to title than others but this is not one of those books. For some reason the right title is eluding me. I've explored both the underlying themes of the novel and the exterior ones, the character arcs and the story line, and still I am at a loss. I'm hoping that sometime during the revision stages it will hit me.

Thankfully, the novel still has to go through my Critique Sisters and I'm hoping they'll have ideas for the title after they've read it. That time is still a few months off though so in the meantime I am left to ponder. Do you ever have trouble coming up with a title for your novels? What do you like in a title as a reader or writer? 

32 comments:

  1. Okay, that pic? It's a little distracting...if you actually want people to read your text and not just spend five minutes staring... ha! :) So yeah, about titles, some times it's been super sweet grabbing a great title, but my latest wip I can't tell if the title is "cool" or "lame". Right now I'm just calling it a working title, not sure if it'll stick. I'm wracking my brain for something better, but so far nothing.

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  2. I like easy ones and if the book is funny... then a funny one. But I hate I mean hate to name a book. I love picking people's names, I can have fun with a chapter title if I want but I just can't do the name. I was going to call my book #2 The Darkest Night to go with The Strongest Fire... nope. Too many have used it before. Anyway after my husband read The Strongest Fire, I told him the name and he said, "Oh... that's what you *want* to call it? That's what I just read?" I was hurt, but I kept it. At least he really liked the book. I just don't do well with this area... Good luck and if you ever want to Beta me with titles feel free to DM it in Twitter. I want use them and I will tell you what I think... I have to get back to title pondering for book #2 now... blah.

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  3. I find titles SO HARD, Heather! I will definitely keep title in mind when I get the chance to read your ms., though, and do my best. (Too bad The Secret of Spruce Knoll doesn't work—I love that title!) What if you just shortened it to Spruce Knoll? The following always catch my interest as titles: places, plays on words, partials of famous expressions, all of which need to be descriptive of or relate to the novel's theme. Easier said than done!

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  4. Sometimes the title will pop into your head when you're least expecting it. For my third title, you know because I think you read my post about it, the working title suddenly didn't fit it at all. I used the name of the world they were on because it was just unique enough. ~Lorelei of Lorelei's Muse [=

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  5. Titles ARE hard. But they are what will draw the eye of the book browser in the store -- and the agent, too. I love the new look to your blog. I wish you luck, Roland

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  6. Elle, lol! I know huh?! It is pretty distracting. Maybe that's why I can't come up with a title!

    Sarah, well at least he liked the story. :) Titles are sooo hard. I'll definitely be DMing you some of my ideas on Twitter. Thanks!

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  7. Linda, thank you so much! It's tough with sequels. I'll run my thoughts by you before you read it so you can think about them as you go.

    Lorelei, thank you! Knowing it may come to me later is very encouraging. Maybe if I just relax and stop trying so hard...

    Roland, so true! That's part of why I'm stressing so much over it. And thank you, I'm glad you like the new look!

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  8. I can never really come up with a good title until after a draft and a revision. I really suck at titles too! :)

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  9. Yes. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes I have soooo much trouble. I know you'll find the right one so hang in there.

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  10. Except for my series, I've waited to title my stories until they're written. When they are being read by CPs, that is when I play with titles and ask them what they think. I find it stops the flow of ideas if I worry about a title. Just call it a general genre/character title to save until I think of something better.

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  11. Ha! Yeah, that pic, as Elle said, IS distracting! I know how you feel now (RE: missing your last wip). I was out of town and I missed my characters so much! LOL

    And titles? I think sometimes it's REALLY hard to get one that you know it's the one. And sometimes it's really easy. I like when titles are simple. ;)

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  12. Karen, that's the problem, this one has been through many revisions! And still the title eludes me...

    Lisa, thanks, I'm trying!

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  13. Jessica, that sounds like an excellent plan! I think my CP's will be a huge help!

    Monica, it is so nice to come back to the story and characters! The problem with this title is that I have the first novel titled and love it and I also have the third novel titled and love it, it's just this middle one that I'm having trouble with.

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  14. I had a hard time trying to decide on a title for my current WIP--and I ended up going back to calling it the same thing I had been for over a year. :P

    (BTW, I just noticed the WWF images at the bottom of your blog. Awesome.)

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  15. Titles drive me nuts. I usually have a great title when I start writing, and by the end of the writing process I realize it's all wrong. Sigh.

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  16. I love titles. I generally don't have much of a problem picking them out thankfully.

    I like a title that grabs you either with bluntness or subtlety.

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  17. I'm thinking, from what I read about you not liking the title, that, deep down, you know the book goes beyond a secret. I mean, a secret is rather cut and dry. Once one knows it, well, one knows it and moves on. Something obvious like Passion at Spruce Knoll (you can laugh) ivites the reader to dive into the pool. Not much on names, but I kinda feel what you mean.

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  18. Golden Eagle, as long as you're happy with the title I guess that's all that matters. Oh, and thanks for noticing my support of WWF. :-)

    Lydia, me too! That's exactly what happened with this novel.

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  19. Michael, we need to chat then!!!

    Kittie, you've inspired me. Thank you so much! I never thought about using Spruce Knoll in the title of the second book. Hmmm...

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  20. Actually, I'm not real happy with the title of my current PB. I LOVE the title of my MG, but the picture book title is only eh.

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  21. Hi Heather,
    I feel your angst.
    If a sequel is on the way, keep Spruce Knoll but have that as a sub heading or as a 'A Spruce Knoll novel' or something as a strap line underneath?

    Secrets
    A Spruce Knoll novel

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  22. Shannon, it's frustrating isn't it?!

    Ebony, thank you for that idea. I love it!

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  23. It's good to know that you still love your work once it's written. Think of all the fun you will have editing it. I've been in love with steampunk for awhile. And that pic is distracting :-D

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  24. We're in exactly the same boat as you, Heather. We're suddently editing older manuscripts and also changing titles. Maybe it's the summer air?? Good luck!

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  25. Sometimes titles fall into place for me, but mostly they don't. I feel your pain, Heather. Can't wait to see what you ladies come up with.

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  26. LM, it is distracting isn't it?! LOL! Yes, I'm so happy to find that I'm still in love with this story.

    Erica, maybe it is the summer air! Thanks, and good luck to you too.

    Stina, thank you! Me too!

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  27. I can't name to say my life! All of the titles of all my stories are (in my opinion) a bit lame BUT I figure, when they are ready to meet the world, I will get some help re-naming them! :D

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  28. Why are titles so difficult to write? Ugh. I think it's because you have to summarize everything about your book in just a few words, and brevity is definitely not *my* strong suit. I will be the first to admit that I stink at coming up with good titles.

    Good luck with the editing!

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  29. Here's my predicament... I find that I either have a great story but can't come up with the right title for it, or I have a terrific title and concept, yet am at a loss of how to start the story. Woe is me! :)

    I'm sure you'll come up with the perfect title! We all have faith in you!

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  30. Titles are so difficult! I like something that signifies the genre and is unique.

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  31. Saba, I have the same problem. Thankfully we have this fantastic community to help us! :)

    Melissa, that could be my problem too! Summing it all up in one word or just a few words is not my strong suit either.

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  32. Michelle, that happens to me a lot too! Thank you for your faith in me. :)

    Talli, signifies the genre, that's a great tip. Thank you!

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