Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Long and Short of it.

There is always talk of titles when it comes to our stories.  You can find some of the best discussions/opinions hanging out over at YA Confidential.  Hard to compete with their level of funny and smart but I'll throw in my two cents.  The most common questions are always how do we come up with titles? Is it better to have a long one or a short one?  Should we really spend a lot of effort when the publisher has the final word on such things anyway?

I don't have a problem with titles.  They come to me along with the story idea.  But I also would be willing to change one if I heard something better,  Usually I like them short and to the point.  As in one word.  Maybe two.  Until now. 

Because I totally hate the short title of my current wip. 

It feels too plain, too generic.  So I took some of the advice I found over at YAC and let me just say...it doesn't matter what you write, this is good advice for all.  I tried free word association as it applied to my manuscript.  Since I have almost OD'ed on books written in my genre lately I also decided to study the choices of others who have written similar stories.

Now I may go with a longer title.  You could say I'm trying it on for size.  Also the initials of said possible new title are S.O.B.S. which is like an added bonus and sort of fits my story too.  Yes, I am a geek.  You're only just now noticing?  Please.

So I won't ask if you have problems coming up with titles.  I'll just ask whether or not you stick with the first one you come up with?

Come on, you can tell me...


  1. I'd stick with the first one I came up with if I'd come up with one yet.

  2. The title seems to come to me while I'm writing. So far, I've stuck with my original titles because, well I just have. It's not like I'm pig-headed or anything, well, okay, I'm a stubborn sonofabitch! My titles are gold.

    PS. "Approaching Utopia" doesn't quite fit my blog much these days, unless I'm as blind as I am stubborn and paradise is right around the corner.

    PPS. Really, I'm not stubborn.

    PPPS. I smell a contest brewing. Post a brief synopsis and have your readers give it a shot.

    PPPPS. ...or not.

  3. I kind of liked your title, but you can't beat SOBS for an acronym.

    I tried on about four different titles before I came up with the ones I use now for the novels in my trilogy. Their abbreviations are COD, HOD, and BOD. As you can see I try to reserve my creativity for other endeavors.

    Now I'm going to be trying to figure out what your SOB letters mean. Shadows of Boy Seen? Shades of Bold Shadows? Sounds of Big Silence? Stumped.

  4. Captain Obvious knows what SOB stands for. heh

  5. Usually I do. That's mostly because I can't think of anything else . . .

  6. I'm terrible at titles! TEWWIBLE! I got lucky with CREEP because I wrote the song into the story, so I was able to "borrow" it from Radiohead. But the second book? Editor and agent nixed my first 2 suggestions and we threw around ideas for months before settling on FREAK (which came from me, so that made me feel better, haha).

  7. I usually have a hard time with titles. So I almost never stay with my first thought.

  8. I hate coming up with titles. I have very full working titles. If I ever finish anything I'll have to come up with something awesome. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

  9. Sometimes, sometimes not. For my published novel, I labored over the title. Then it got changed. For my titles now, I come up with something, usually just off the top of my head, knowing I can work with someone smarter than me to make it better.

  10. It varies. Sometimes I think up a great (in my opinion) title from the start and stick with it. Other times I type something just so's I have a file name and then regularly change it until I'm happy.


It helps to know I'm not just talking to myself.