Feb 9, 2009


Someone posted a request on Absolute Write for tips on creating good titles. Some people responded that they suck at titles; others have no problems with them. And still others say they never try to come up with a title until a piece is finished.

All the fiction I write starts out with a title. Usually they’re just working titles, something I use to identify it in my files. With any luck I come up with a better title before I’m finished the story.

Of my current works in progress, Driving Into Forever is the only one keeping the title it started out with. Well, at least until I sell it and the editor/publisher changes it to something else :-) I was probably 10K into Magic before I thought of a better name for it, I just haven’t changed the name under the Zokutou bar. Changeling is a working title and I’m still trying to come up with something better.

Like every other aspect of writing, creating the perfect title is different for everyone. You can use a key phrase one of your characters uses, or a descriptive element from the story itself. It can be short and sharp; long and descriptive; intriguing and mysterious. Above all, it needs to sell your book, not just to the reader, but to the publisher who buys it.

The right title can make or break a novel. Seriously, would Gone With the Wind really have been the best seller it was published under its original title of Tomorrow Is Another Day?

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