Friday, February 26, 2016

Title Life Line - Throw Me One

Titles. Was this topic my suggestion? Was it? Cause I'm hopeless. I've been reading all week, hoping and praying for a silver bullet that would make me less bad at titles. Listen. Titling a thing gives me hives. More so even, than having to write the synopsis of the thing. 90% of the time, I file my story files under a character's name. All of my working folders are named things like 'Ari', 'Sinclair', or 'Heli'.

Even when I *do* name a story, at long, painful last, editors want to change it. No problem, I say, and I provide a brainstormed list of 20 other possible titles. But you know what happens? Every single time, so far? They go with my original title. And if you think that doesn't give me a complex about my titles, you're as crazy as I am.

Like KAK and just about everyone else, I want my title to convey both genre and some hint of what the story might be about. That isn't to say it's always achieved. Just that it's a goal. Usually, I have to write a complete story before a title that isn't a character's name offers itself up for consideration. Those of you who know my work already know that the working title 'Ari' became the book Enemy Within (which was also the title of a movie that came out several years before my book did, speaking of avoiding duplicate titles. This happened again with Enemy Mine - which was NOT my title - my editor suggested it. When I said 'Enemy Mine, you mean like the Dennis Quaid/Danny Glover SF movie?' She had no idea what I was talking about because that movie had been made right about the time she'd been born. Yeah. Ouch.)

I'll tell you what. I will lay bare my current titling dilemma. I have a manuscript in edits right now. The working title is The Incubus and the Asexual. *I* love this title. No one else seems to. I'm completely open to a retitle, but everything any of my crit partners and I have attempted to brainstorm has just not fit. So the book will go through developmental edits and we'll see whether it offers up anything that does as good a job of telling you the story, the genre and the tone as The Incubus and the Asexual. Unless, you know, you have suggestions. Bring 'em on. When you're as hopeless at titling books as I am, it's a relief when someone starts tossing titles like a life line.

No comments:

Post a Comment