Tuesday, March 9, 2010

WIP Titles

Titles are important, just like having a great book cover because, well... they are a part of the book cover and what draws the reader to the book. If a title catches my eye when I'm walking through the bookstore I will pull the book out to see what it's about. Sure, it won't make me buy it on that fact alone but it helps. But they aren't easy to come by, at least, not for me. During first drafts it is not as important to have the title picked but it bugs me when I don't have something. WIP titles are a little different than the end result title because there is no guarantee the title will hold through the varying drafts. In fact, it is more than likely the wip title will be changed at least once, if not more, during the writing progress. But how does someone choose a title?

There is one thing I don't like when it comes to titles and that is the "untitled" project. I have a degree in English, legal studies and art. Art is one of the places where people use the "untitled" the most and it bugs me to no end. I understand, as students and even artists, that it's not always easy to come up with a title for a project of piece of work but at least try. One or two projects left as "untitled" are okay. But there were displays in the gallery where single artists would have 10 or so items all with the title of "untitled". I mean, really? Don't be lazy people! "Untitled" does not count as a title for just any piece of work.

With that in mind, I try my best to have some form of title even for my WIP. None of my current novels are called "untitled" and I'm proud of that. Do they have real titles? lol I wish. Now, on to the real discussion of this post. My titles and how I came up with them. You'll see that most of them are just there to hold the place for a real title once one comes along.

How do I come up with titles?
For the most part, I don't. They just come to me, at least the really good ones do. Sometimes, I have a long thought process or other aspects that aid in the process but for the most part a title happens to jump me. The problem with this is it doesn't happen very often and so most of my work don't have set titles yet.

Blood Prophesy is a title that jumped me. It came to me out of the blue and I can't ever imagine it changing in the future. Maybe it will become the series title instead of the single book but either way, it will be a part of the projects title. Even that exact spelling. I had someone ask me why I spelled it "prophesy" when it should be "prophecy". There was no reason, that's just how I saw it but I did consider their concern. Then I looked up both version in the handy dictionary on my mac and both spellings are correct so it shall stay this way because I like it. One of the sequels is titled already as well.

Against All Evidence is another that probably won't change but it was one that took a little more thought. The title I first had is actually for the next book that follows the same detective. The second book title is Beyond Brotherly Love and I thought that the double B was interesting and something the books could have in common. So, I went with a double A for the first book and book three will have C's and it involves a clown serial killer. I went over a number of word combinations before I came up with AAE and that one sounded right.

Fallen is one that will not stay. The wip title was chosen for a specific reason. There was a contest I considered writing the novel for on writing.com where we chose a cd and the cd title would then be the novel title and each song had to have influence on each chapter in the exact order as it went on the cd. I choose Fallen by Evanescence for the angel//demon story because it made sense and the songs would have worked well. I'm not doing the music influence part anymore and the novel is now a double main character, but Fallen as the wip title has stuck. I kind of like it but know it won't stay and that it can't stay. Not only does it have the same title as someone else's recent publication, but it also gives too much away in my opinion. I don't want the climax and end to be obvious because there is no fun in that.

Hero is me being lazy. Yes, this is the novel that is getting the most attention right now. It has gained 20k words during this month already. However, that is not the title. Not one bit. Hero is more of a reference to the book than anything close to a title but I cannot think of something else to call it. The reason for hero is simply that there is a superhero society, it's the hero element of the mutant series, and the main character is a reluctant hero. It is my lamest one so far and I just hope that a wip title comes along because it needs something more real for a title.

Those are a few of my titles and how I came upon them. Now to get back to writing Hero and pondering a real title.


addisoncs said...

My titles tend to jump out at me as well. :-P My WIP titles are just there to help me keep my stuff organized, (It would be a bit confusing to have my folders labeled "Story 1, Story 2, Novel 1"), but I know when I was writing shorter fiction, the titles tended to just jump out at me some time while I was writing. If I don't have a title by the time I get to the end of the piece... Coming up with a decent one is, for lack of a better word, hell. :-P

Looking forward to your next post! (and sorry it took so long to comment. X.x)

Dawn Embers said...

Yay for comment! lol

Yeah. My WIP titles are more of something to call them, a point of reference, than anything else. Titles have convenient uses. I'd rather just say "Hero" than "that one book about Noah who doesn't want to be a hero but is forced to when the antagonist hijacks his boyfriend, making him use his mutation like a weapon...".

Yep. The wip title is much better than a random description.