Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On Titles

I was thinking about titles, and how much I LOVE the title for a book I recently started - another verse novel. I love it so much, it makes me want to work hard so the book is as good as the title, if that makes any sense. And really, it's just one word. So it's not that it's anything super creative. But when I think of this word on the cover of a book, it makes me happy. And no, I'm not going to tell you. Not quite yet. Hopefully someday... :)

Titles are funny things. Sometimes a title comes to me right away and it sticks. Other times, like the other WIP I've been working on for awhile, I change the title a bunch of times as I'm writing the book. It's like trying on a sweater with a pair of pants you want to wear, and trying to find the best combination.

Some might argue, why worry so much about the title? Won't it eventually get changed by the publisher anyway?

So far, with my five books, I'm five for five. With each one, the title I came up with has been the one that ended up on the actual book. Here's a break down of my titles and whether they were easy or hard for me to come up with:

BABY CAN'T SLEEP - I think this was the third title I came up with. The others had sheep in the title. But I decided this title really got at the core of the story.

I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME - I tried to think of other titles, and even tried changing it at some point, but I always came back to this one.

FAR FROM YOU - Originally, this book was titled LOST WITHOUT YOU. When my agent had me do some revisions before we submitted it, she made the point that the book shouldn't be too focused on Alice's feelings for her mother, but more on the difficulty of accepting the new family. So I decided a new title was in order. I thought about it and thought about it and then, finally, on a walk one afternoon, a song popped up on my iPod, and I had my title. The song? "From Where You Are" by Lifehouse. It starts out - "So far away from where you are." The song is a song that really goes with the book, so I took that first line, condensed it, and I had a new title.

CHASING BROOKLYN - This was the title from the beginning and never changed. I think it fits the book really well, on a couple of different levels.

IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES - This one was easy. It came to me right away, once I decided this would be the name of the cupcake shop Isabel's mom owns.

So - as far as the other WIP, the one I've been working on for 6+ months, the title I have now is HOPE FOR NIMBUS. I used to have just NIMBUS. But the main character's name is Hope, and I sort of like the play on words.

Will it stick? I guess we'll see. First I have to finish the thing. And oh yeah, see if anyone is interested in publishing it. Just a couple of small hurdles, huh?


  1. How interesting that your titles have stuck! You must be a good predictor of the overall tone of your work. I always write with a one word working title that encompasses the main character - BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE was just FURNITURE, but needed more. Maybe some one-word titles will stick for me, if it suits. Great thoughts!

  2. Very jealous of your title skills. My WIP still sits untitled, as I'm sure it will stay for quite some time (I can never figure out titles).

    And I love the Lifehouse connection to Far From You! Such a great band, such a great book!