Title tactics

For a while now I’ve been debating the title of my work in progress.

Actually there isn’t much about the work in progress I haven’t been debating, including the actual progress of said work. Nevertheless pondering I was, when while perusing blog posts about the query process (query letter development is next on my agenda) there was a line in one post about how the publisher usually changes the title anyway so it’s not a whole lot to stress about.

Or is it?

Having never published anything, and reading conflicting information on the net, I am left to wonder and hope.

I hope that my title isn’t instantly discarded, or at least if the title isn’t suitable perhaps I can be consulted in the process (if I am ever indeed to be in such a situation). Supposing that my current title is considered it would need to be a pretty darn good one. Which is why I think perhaps it isn’t something maybe to “stress” about, but still put some thought into.

To me the title is very important. A title can be what jumps out at a reader and prompts them to pick up a book for the very first time. A boring or unassuming title can deter me from ever reading a book. To me, I like the title to give something away about the book. Nothing big but still something I can see having a meaning and I love finding that meaning in the book. I hate a useless “nothing” of a title. As we know a title can turn into a brand: “Harry Potter”, “Twilight”, “Fifty Shades of Grey” (which I will note is usually shortened to “Fifty shades” which says something about the punch-factor of a title).

However if the publishing industry gets a high-hand into the say of the title, again it begs the question: how much do I need to think about it?

How much prior thought to you give to a piece of writing? Do you think of something catchy and just run with it, without stopping to question if something would be better for it? How much do you think your title really says about your work and also how much SHOULD it say?

Do you ask for opinions from others? Seek critic partner advice? Run a blog contest to come up with the best title?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.

P.s Happy New Year


2 thoughts on “Title tactics

  1. Ali, I think you’re right on, the title is indeed one of the hardest parts about writing. As a teacher of literature, I always try to find the connection with the title and the story or some type of symbolism. Sometimes the title is very clever and then sometimes it’s seemingly random. I look at titles of movies, too. Some of them are so lame!

    I have a very hard time coming up with titles. Often it might be a line from the narrative or a more straightforward sentence. I tend to use (perhaps overuse) colons quite a bit. I can understand your dilemma because for a bigger piece of writing or a collection the title does need to have some kind of pop effect. However, I believe for a work in progress, the title can be in progress too. I’m sort of rambling here, but just so you know, you’re not alone. Steph

    • 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment Steph! It’s lovely to know I’m not alone. I think I will stick more to the side of believing that my title should mean something and will continue to evolve it, it definitely should pop 🙂 Thanks!!
      Maybe I’ll post a short blurb with some possible titles and see what people say!
      Have a great day!

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