Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Choosing A Title For Your Book

In college, I wrote short stories and always LOVED what I chose. Now that I'm trying to title a book-I'm hating all of my ideas. I know that many publishers don't even listen to a writer's chosen title and maybe they shouldn't since---they're the ones who SHOULD know what's best, but I still want to make one. Maybe it's cuz it was easier to relate the WHOLE idea of the piece into a title while working with a short story cuz they're more focused. I don't have writer's block, I have TITLE BLOCK!


I also have a problem with adding the word "ghost" or entity" to my mini-synopsis and hook for query letters. I just feel cliche, but I also think it's important to identify as a "ghost story" at least while querying-I don't want an agent to automatically chunk my query cuz they think I sent them a genre they don't work with...
Are there any other words for ghost besides entity or apparition?!

I've been looking on YouTube for title and query advice and Dale Beaumont is a GREAT source of info and ideas(even tho his australian accent annoys me--Sorry- I know most people like that. I HATE the way the word "book" sounds couming out of an australian).
Here's some of advice for Book Titles.

9 comments:

beth said...

What about spirit?

Good luck! I usually have no problem with titels, but recently....

Pen Pen said...

IS spirit considered a menacing word? I'm thinking now that I should be sure to pick the word that is most menacing....tho really--ALL the words sound lame.
I watched the preview for 'A Haunting in Conneticut' today tho- they use the word "supernatural"---Myabe there's a way I can use "haunting" and avoid having to name the presence...

WHY has titling become so hard?! It's like I've made it to the end of a marathon but can't rip the tape they run through at the finish line--it's making me angry.

Lady Glamis said...

I'm not sure how I come up with titles. Mine all have several layers of meaning, and they're usually always short. I think a title focus on the main tension your protagonist deals with. Just a thought. If you need more ideas or help, feel free to email me and we can chat. My email is in my profile. :)

This guy seems to be talking about nonfiction titles more than anything. I agree, the way he says book is really annoying!

Pen Pen said...

I would actually really appreciate ur input :) I was warned against posting my writing on the blog until I had a deal since ideas can be taken-so they only REAL input I've had is from my boyfriend(who hates to read but edits my horrific grammar-tho he has come up with amazingly insightful titles ad ideas before-so I'm hoping he'll think of something:)), my father(who reads lots, and a couple friends. It would be great to have the input of another writer or at least to see if you have another way of looking at this whole thing. I could e-mail you my hook and mini-synopsis I mentioned in the post - as well as a short summary. I'll get that to you tonight. Thanks so much for even offering help! That's incredibly nice of you and I really appreciate it!

Davin Malasarn said...

Spirit was the first thing that came to mind. There's also soul. I think haunted is a good word, though!

This link was interesting. I'm always intrigued when people break down stuff like this into formulas.

Davin Malasarn said...

Spirit was the first thing that came to mind. What about soul? I like the idea of using the word haunted, though.

Thanks for the interesting link. I don't know if I like the guy, but at least he held my attention for a few minutes.

GutsyWriter said...

Thanks for sharing the book title video. I wouldn't worry too much about the title unless you're self-publishing or coop publishing, where you have more of a say. My friend came up with a title for mine:
"From Freeways to Flip-Flops," but it's a memoir. I used to worry a lot about the title but not anymore. It takes a ton of time to come up with something catchy and all encompassing.

Tabitha said...

Hmm, other words for ghost:
ethereal being, phantom, poltergeist, specter, spook, visitor, wraith

Hope those help you out a bit!

Lady Glamis said...

Penny, I got your email and sent you a short reply. I'll be giving you my help tomorrow when I'm better rested. No problem. I love to help!