Friday, December 2, 2011

Titles Schmitles!

Were you blessed with the poetic ability to assign few words to a thing of such significance? I was not. I not only struggled naming my children, but I am now struggling to name my youngest baby: my manuscript. Hey, it's okay. I know I'm not the only one with naming/titling deficiency ("TD"). I actually know a guy named Dick Hofacker...someone is responsible for that!

Some titles seem to jump right off the shelf at me, and I marvel at how succint, or lovely, or witty they are. Like last night, I went to buy LEGEND by Marie Lu. Not only is the title awesome, but the cover is too. The title "Legend" seems to inspire an epic, grand feel to it. Another title that I love is HUSH HUSH. Along with the black and white cover art of an angel falling, it makes me feel like I want to know that secret.

Yet, for all the amazing titles out there, there are some that haven't done it for me. I put off reading HUNGER GAMES for a long time, because the title somehow turned me off. I really enjoyed I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, and yet I was always embarrassed to be seen with it in public. Shoot, when I first heard about Harry Potter, all I could think was, "Why are the British so fascinated with such an unattractive name? Seriously, a name that makes me think of hair, and hairy things?" I know I really can't talk since my last name has the word "hump" in it...but you get what I am saying, right?

So I am desperately, obsessively searching for a title that will inspire greatness. I know, I know, you say authors don't really end up choosing their own title. Well, while that's true, it's also true that an awesome eye-catching title won't hurt you either in getting published in the first place.

I was going to have a title contest or ask for feedback on titles here on the bloggy, but decided that could be disastrous. Last night I emailed a good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) with a list of ideas for titles. She shot every single one of them down with gusto. Which is good...I want the truth! But really, I don't need the world to know just how bad my titling deficiency ("TD") really is.

So how about you? Do you have TD or are you do you have a black belt in titling (in which case, tell me so that I can beg you to help)???

24 comments:

  1. I have terrible TD.
    At least you managed to come up with a wickedly cool name for it. I would have called it something like:
    Can't Really Assign Propperly Placed Edited Descriptions (CRAPPED) :o|

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  2. I bought Legend last night as well :)

    uh, I don't know that I actually have a name for my manuscript. I used to call it Tessa's Way... in the past couple of days I've decided it'll go by Tessa's Fall but am I confident it's the title? nope.. just needed something.

    oh, and I'm kind of over the one word titles for books.. they're everywhere!

    you'll come up with something marvelous I'm sure.

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  3. I do pretty good with titles. Not sure why... Maybe it's because I'm a crazy and can't write a book without giving it a title first... :) I know you'll think of something awesome! And if you ever need help, let me know! ;)

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  4. I don't stress too much over titles. Not that my titles are anything to fly to the moon about. Maybe it comes to me naturally, maybe they suck. I don't know.

    I'm a fan of one word titles or titles that ramble across the cover.

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  5. I still proudly wear my I Am Not a Serial Killer tee-shirt in public on occasion. Especially when shopping. Amazing how much more room people give you.

    Titles are my favorite part and I try to make it the theme that reflects throughout. Hence my habit of naming the book before actually starting it. :)

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  6. Titles can be hard. Sometimes they come easier with some work than other. Keep making lists and playing around. You'll find one!

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  7. I have TD! *hangs head* It's a curse, but someway, somehow, a title eventually forms. Good luck girl :)

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  8. I have TD too! One thing that helped--I was in a blogfest where we had to list our characters' mishaps and then let people GUESS a title based on what happens to the character. I got some great guesses that were WAY better than what I originally came up with (which I didn't post, ha ha, didn't want to display my TD either) Might be worth a try, if you wanted something different!

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  9. I'm not good at titles until I finish my MS, then I come up with doable ideas. Before then I'm hopeless!

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  10. It's funny - some come to me really easily.
    I'm starting another joint project with my friend Kelley, and I got this title idea and it's not shaping our book.

    The other half of the time, I really struggle with it.

    So, yeah. I totally get you.

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  11. What? You didn't like my titles? So sad.

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  12. Titles are hard. They have to encompass the feel of the entire book in only a few words. I guess you have to hone in on the most important aspect or theme and work from there.

    Literary Suzie Townsend wrote an awesome post on the importance of titles. You can read it here at:

    http://confessionsofawanderingheart.blogspot.com/2011/11/query-contest-advice-part-i-aka.html

    I found it very enlightening. Good luck, Jessie!

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  13. I have a hard time working on something without a title, even if it changes later. My 1st WIP has had 7 or 8 titles. The second one took a bit, but once I figured it out, I was stoked. Oh, and I'm with Cristina. The one word title to books is WAY overdone right now.

    What I'm having a hard time with is a fictional band name. My hubby shoots down ALL of my suggestions. I'm thinking about doing the blog thing though. Cheers!

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  14. haha
    and Englebert Humpderdinck CHOSE his stage name

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  15. Titles are hard! I think I have bipolar TD--is that possible? LOL. Sometimes I come up with rockin' titles and then other times I struggle. I'm struggling right now trying to come up with a new title for a book that's polished.

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  16. ...I'm still snickering about Dick Hofacker. Is that wrong? :)

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  17. TD for me! They're the worst. THE. WORST. I had a contest on my blog once to name my last book that I never even ended up querying. I got like 40 suggestions, and still had such a hard time. Maybe that's why I didn't query it-- the title STILL didn't fit! That, or fact that the book sucked... I don't remember which. ;)

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  18. Oh - feeling your pain on this one. It's taken me ages to come up with a title and even now I'm not 100% sold on it.

    I guess it should sum up your book? That's my tip...and can I just say that your title to this post - I misread as 'titties?' Um, yes. I did. *runs away laughing*

    Hope you're having a fab weekend!

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  19. ooh, I have a black belt in titling, first day :) I often have to give a new title to the books I translate for my country, since the original ones are sometimes untranslatable or just less nice in Serbian, and I love doing it :)

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  20. If I don't get a title early, I'm doomed ;)

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  21. Definitely EXTREME title-deficiency! I am on my third title for my WiP and still looking for something better.
    Good luck! :-)

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  22. I'm totally title deficient. At least that should make it easy if the publishers want to change the title.

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  23. I usually have a "working" title while I'm writing and then try to come up with something good at the end. I love the titles of my first two manuscripts, Growing Up Gracie and Letters Never Sent. But the one I am working on now is really lame.

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