Over the past week, I’ve been brainstorming book titles with some of my writer friends. For me, Powerful came easy. The title was there before I even started writing. But for other books, it’s taken quite a bit of time to name. I always give my books a temporary working title, but coming up with the right title is sometimes more time consuming than the actual writing the book part.
There are a few different ways to title a book. First is titles based on character’s name. For example, Jane Eyre or Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It’s an easy way to label your book without giving any of the plot away.
Another type of title is by using the theme. For example, Pride and Prejudice. This is a good way to hint at what your book is about without giving everything away.
The next type is a title based on a character’s occupation or quality. For example, Sleeping Beauty (because that’s not her name!). This one gives away a bit more of the character than their name. It’s a good way to give the reader an insight into your character before they even start reading.
Something frequently seen is to title a book with a line of poetry or a song. For example, Mary Higgins Clark names all her books after song titles. This one may have less to do with your story, characters, or plot, but it hints at beautiful writing for the rest of your book.
The last type that I can come up with (and my personal favorite), is a word or phrase lifted directly from the manuscript. For example, All Quiet on the Western Front, or Powerful. Let me be honest, when I finished All Quiet on the Western Front and I read the title in the book, I got chills. I loved every chance I got to write the word powerful in my book.
Once you decide how you want to title your book, there are still a few things you need to do before you pick an official title. Don’t forget to google it! It’s very important! Your book is an original piece of work and it deserves an original title that distinguishes it from all the other books out there.
Make sure your title is as specific as possible. Change “tree” to “elm”. Change “good” to “pleasant”. It creates a much better picture if you say The Pleasant Elm rather than The Good Tree. See the difference?
Whatever you do, make sure the title matches your story. You can’t title your book The Pleasant Elm if there’s no elm tree in the story. It doesn’t make sense. That’s why I like the titles taken from the manuscript. It’s guaranteed to match your story.
In the end, make sure you are happy with your title. If you’re happy with your title, then your readers will to. It’s the most important part of naming your book.
Don’t stress over naming your book. Just keep working at it and you’ll find the right title.
2 thoughts on “Titles”
I LOVED this post! So insightful. Bookmarking.
So TRUE. My other books don't even have titles yet, I think I'll adapt this. Thanks for sharing.