Thursday, November 14, 2013

Alex on Picking a Title

Names are important, and a book's title is essentially its name. A good title is vital (ha! rhymes) to a book's success. It can't be too complex (John Smith and a Group of His Friends and Acquaintances Go on an Adventure to Rescue His Sister Jane from Evil People and Fight Back Against those Evil People Together) or too simple (Jane, although you could argue that this is a good title). It has to pique the interest of the potential reader in a second and a half, or that reader won't be picking up that book. (The book I described in that long title? I'd call it Sibling Rivalry. But that's just me.)

So far, all of my books have started as a title and a concept that seem to develop simultaneously in my mind. With Epilogue, I thought about beginning at the end, and the title came to mind, and I built the story from there. With Comorbidity, I read the word somewhere, looked up its meaning, and it sounded like a great zombie story. This NaNoWriMo, I'm writing three short stories instead of one long one. I wanted them all to start the same way: filling up the main character's car's gas tank. Think of all the potential a full tank of gas represents! So, naturally, the working title is Full Tank.

A lot of people come up with their titles last, after their stories are written. I like to have a working title, because then I've introduced myself to my book and we're on a first-name basis. If I have to changes its name later, so be it, but the title gives me a feeling for what I wanted the book to be when I started.

1 comment:

  1. We use the term comorbidity in my profession. I like that you used it as a title. :)