Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Trauma of the Title

Titles. How hard can it be? I'll tell you how hard. Absolutely, totally impossible, that's how hard! Yet somehow a novel never seems right, never seems real as you're writing it unless you have the right title. My current novel is certainly no exception. Yet I've written novels with excellent titles. And I've had excellent titles but no novels to go with them.

Some authors have the most wonderful titles, and I am green with envy.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things (Ruth Frances Long). How gorgeous is that? The book's good too.

The Feral Child (Che Golden). Great title. Great story. Hmm. Could there be a connection here?

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish (Mo O'Hara). I know. Perfect, eh?

But then you have titles that are not so great.

Lord of the Rings? Meh!

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Good. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader? Bit nothingy. (But my favourite ever book, actually.)

So I battle on with my own titles. Mudlarks - ditched that. It didn't even have much to do with the story.  Becoming Patience Baker. Really? What was I thinking of?! Bird Wars. Luckily I only stuck with that one for the briefest of moments. I've made lots of scribbled notes. Words that have something to do with the plot. Disappeared? Bit rubbish. Sometimes I come up with a nice title, only for someone to have got there first. And done really well with it. Ah well. The search continues.

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