t2How do you figure out the titles for your books?  And do you figure it out before, during or after the story is actually written?

I ask this because I am lousy with titles.  Any name I come up with pretty much gets replaced.  My husband, he is brilliant – in fact, he came up with the three titles for my Chaos Trilogy. 

And my nonfiction project, yeah, that has to be retitled too…

One of my crit partners is amazing with titles – she thinks she isn’t, but seriously…her titles are the best.

So I ask you guys…what makes a great title?  Tell me, cuz I really have to get better at this…


9 thoughts on “A Rose by any other name…

  1. I wish I could help you there! I’m lousy at titles too. I usually start a project untitled and then bellyache over it for weeks! My crit partner actually helped me come up with the name for my latest WIP. She’s brilliant with stuff like that too. I feel like there’s a lot to a name. It’s the first thing that draws a reader.

  2. I usually need a title in place before I can really get to work in a book. Or the title comes sometime during the first few chapters. My titles tend to be one word, usually a word that evokes the theme or a feeling of a project. My current WIP is called CLOAKED, which is a word that can be interpretted a lot of different ways–which is something the English major in me still salivates over.

  3. Ooh, CLOAKED is a great title! 😉

    I’m like Amanda. I agonize, and it takes forever. I usually come up with them in the middle of the night or the shower when I don’t have any paper and have to repeat them over and over until I can find some :P.

    It’s not easy, man. I had my WIP titled “new story” for several weeks, and then used a terrible place-holder title for weeks after that.

  4. I don’t title well. For me, it comes down to a process. I think you need a title that when someone picks up your book, they’ll know a bit about it. It should resonate with the target audience. Choose a word you want in the title and then write down as many phrases as you can using that word. Before I chose my title, I had over 50 phrases with the word “Control” in it.

    So it’s a process. And I know you must be talking about M who’s great at titles…

  5. I am terrible with titles. I actually found the one for my current WIP by going on an internet site with well-known sayings and then I happened across “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”.

    BTW I love the title “Lacrimosa” – I know you’ve mentioned wanting to change it but it’s just such a beautiful word.

  6. Isn’t it great having a helpful husband? Mine’s the best for brainstorming.

    Coming up with a title is a difficult process for me. I didn’t have a title for my completed ms until I was almost done with the first draft. It’s hard to find that perfect fit. You want it to be memorable and intriguing, and then knowing it might be changed anyway is a little frustrating.

  7. Hmmm…Sometimes I have to play with the arrangement of the words until it feels right, but other than that mine sort of just come to me.

    I wish I could be more helpful.

  8. For me, a great title just feels right, and it totally depends when I get the right one. Sometimes I have it pretty close to the beginning of the book. Other times, I’m completely done and into editing by the time I get one.

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