Monday, August 13, 2012

Titles Make Me (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

I loathe titles. With a passion. Always have. For term papers, I use "Paper One," "Paper Two," and so on. If a teacher asks for something more thoughtful, I take a keyword or two out of the paper. Needless to say, I never got, nor will I ever get, extra credit for having a spectacularly creative title. Honestly, if I could get away with it, all my research papers and essays would be titled, "Go Suck It, Mr/Ms.____." or "I Just Love Wasting My Time Writing Crappy, Useless Essays."

I've been playing around with the title of my blog. I change it almost daily (hope I haven't annoyed anyone besides myself by doing so). I just can't seem to find one that I like. I've reverted to [Insert Title], which, I am very well aware, is incredibly lame. It's just a placeholder until an epiphany slaps me in the face. Of course, I want something witty, something clever, something that will stand out and also give a fair description of what my blog is about (which is writing and books if no one has noticed). However, my mind keeps coming up blank every time I think about it.

In the book industry, titles are rather important. Perusing the shelves at the B&N, your title has to stand out from hundreds of other books. This has me a bit worried. Not only do I struggle with the title of my blog, but I also strain to come up with a title for my manuscript. Luckily, however, I've read that agents don't really worry too much about the title in query letters. And, besides, the publisher gets the last say anyway.

A few horrendous titles:
  • Le Livre This was when the story was about a special book that brought my characters to another world. Waaay back in 8th grade when I was taking French. Titling a book "the book" in a different language is just idiotic.
  • The Kingdom of Garthna Yeah, that's just stupid. Nobody knows anything about "Garthna." Which, by the way, is a horrid name for a country. I also have trouble giving names to countries, rivers, fortresses, swords, horses, etc. Most of the ones I do come up with are mediocre at best.
  • Summoned Because the main character is summoned to a foreign world.
  • The Kingdom's Champion: Summoned Meh.
  • The Kingdom's Champion: Book One Which is now the current title. I'm not certain I'm happy with it. It doesn't make me "oooh" and "aaaah" like I'm watching fireworks, but it doesn't make me want to stab myself in the appendix. So it works for now. Until someone can suggest something better. *looks meaningfully at*
I've known some crazy mofos who enjoy titling things more than they actually like writing. They come up with dozens of titles and don't even write the story to go along with it. What is that, I ask you? And I say "damn you!" to amazing world-builders like Terry Goodkind and R.A. Salvatore. How dare they be so imaginative! How dare they come up with hundreds of creative names! Makes me wanna take an icepick to someone.

I must ask myself why do creative titles so elude me? The answer:

I am inept.

Here are a few helpful articles I found:
How To Title Your Book
How to Title a Novel
Choosing the Right Name for Your Story

Does titling stuff make you want to bash your face into the keyboard too? If not, do you have any tips you'd care to share? *nudge* *nudge*


  1. I feel your pain. A few words to capture the essence of the content boggles the mind, especially when the content is you.

    1. Whoa. Totally confused me with the name change. Haha.

      I really like your title, "Squirrel Meditations." It's cute. :D

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    1. Sorry about that. Switching over to my maiden name to keep my day job world separate from my writing world. See what I mean? I have trouble choosing my name, let alone titles :p.

      Squirrel Meditations just felt right on many levels.

      What about a concept from your story? Like the portals. I love the idea of being transported to another place.

    2. Yeah, I'm glad I won't have a problem with my name. Even if I do get married, I'm keeping my last name. I was born Joey Harpel and I'm going to die Joey Harpel. :D

      I like the idea about the portals. Before I write my query, I'm going to do some serious brainstorming. :S