“Untitled” no. 7 (or “The Novel Which had no Title”)

The novel I am writing has 15 chapters, 91 pages, 33,600 words and no title.

Of course I expect to write about 41,400 words more before it is finished, so there is no hurry, but still I wondered if the Great Internet, had something interesting to say about title creation.

I found several interesting sites:

Rachelle Gardner’s blog (a literary agent): http://www.rachellegardner.com/2010/03/how-to-title-your-book and
eHow: http://www.ehow.com/how_2308134_title-novel.html
both had some nice concrete suggestions, and not so much text that it swamped me.

Wiki how: www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Good-Story-Title
Had a few pointers though some were rather obvious and the suggestions were less concrete than the ones found at the two sites above.

Write and Publish Fiction: http://www.write-and-publish-fiction.com/good-book-title.html
Had a nice exercise, but with the title: “Follow This Simple Exercise to Create a Good Book Title That Sells!” I really felt like they were trying to sell me something.

All in all, many of the sites I found repeated the same things. I have gathered some of the ones I liked here:

  • Make really REALLY ReAlLy long lists with all the things your story/novel/poem is about. Concentrate on verbs and nouns in particular and try to match some of them up.

  • If somewhere in your story/novel/poem there is a really funny/smart/interesting phrase, use it in your title.
  • Make it short. (Unless you have a really great idea which takes up the whole cover.)
  • Use good quotes if you can find them. (try www.thinkexist.com)
  • Use alliteration or rhyme if possible. (Of course this might make it sound like something for children, but grown ups like rhymes too… I do anyway.)
  • Be careful with giving it a title which is already in use; it might cause a lot of confusion.
  • Make sure the title has something to do with the story/novel/poem. If the title is “Cake” everyone will be disappointed if there is no cake in the story in some way or another. Everyone feels cheated if the cake is a lie.
  • Find stories/novels/poems in the same genre as yours and check out their titles. Find out which kind of titles you like. Find out why you like those titles. Use that to make your own title. Without of course making it too generic.

That’s the list I came up with. I’ll probably take a look at it again when the novel is finished.

What do you do when you need a good title?


PS. I have an exam on Tuesday and another the week after, so there might not be any more updates before I am done. I should be reading right now, but I agree with thebyronicman that regret should be the 8th deadly sin, so I regret nothing!

One Good Turn Deserves… part 2 of 2

The garden was filled with late-blooming flowers and fruit trees. She followed the path up to the terrace, and there she saw a cage made of either white crystal or diamond with a small songbird inside. It sang a beautiful song which made her think of sun and stars and an infinite blue sky, and it kept singing even though it looked quite worn out, singing and singing and singing, and she felt the longing in that song, and the desperation, and she felt the life slipping out through the bars, and before she had even thought about it, she had opened the cage and the bird flew away into the sky.

From the terrace there was a pair of large double doors into the mansion. She knocked and they swung open with the sound of a gathering autumn storm. When she had stepped through they slammed shut behind her. She was in a hall where the ceiling was very far away and the floor was covered in red and yellow leaves. At the end of the hall sat a tall, slender man on a throne. On his head he wore a crown of golden leaved and small red apples.

‘There was a deer in my forest, you untied him,’ said the King, ‘why?’

‘Because he was sad,’ she said, ‘and I followed my heart.’

‘So you have a gentle heart,’ the King nodded, ‘outside my gate, there was a hound, you loosed him, why?’

‘Because I wanted to get in,’ she said, ‘so I used my head.’

‘So your head is not empty,’ the King nodded, ‘on my terrace, there was a songbird, but you opened the cage, why?’

‘It sang a song,’ she said, ‘and my soul knew what it needed.’

‘So you have an empathetic soul,’ the King nodded and was silent for a while.

‘But,’ he said with his chin in his hand, ‘now I have no deer to hunt, no hound to guard my gate and no songbird to entertain me. The only solution I see is that you become all three.’ The King stepped down from his throne, punched his hand into her chest and tore out her heart.

‘A gentle heart for a gentle creature,’ he said and she saw him wrap her heart in a deer skin which at once became alive. Then he smashed her skull and pulled out her brain.

‘A brain for my guard,’ he said and wrapped it in a dog skin which came alive.

Then he ripped the very soul from her.

‘The music of the soul is by far the most beautiful,’ he said as he trapped her soul in feathers and she felt her soul sing out its longing and desperation as he locked the diamond door of the cage.

One Good Turn Deserves… part 1 of 2

When she finally found his way out of the thorny hedge, she was covered in a hundred cuts. Some were quite deep, but luckily they did not seem to bleed very much. In addition, she had no idea where she was. The only thing she was certain of was that she did not want to go back through the hedge, so she chose a likely direction and began walking.

After a while, she heard someone crying. She followed the noise and found a deer tied to a tree with a golden rope. Large tears splashed onto the red leaves in the forest bed.

‘Why are you crying?’ she asked.

‘I used to be human like you,’ the deer said, ‘but the golden rope binds me in this shape, and I am only loosed from the tree when my master wants to hunt me.’

‘That’s terrible,’ she said, ‘let me untie that rope for you.’ And as soon as she had untied the rope from the deer’s neck, it leapt away and disappeared into the forest. She sighed and walked on.

Soon she stepped out of the forest and saw a high leafless hedge surrounding a garden with a large mansion in the middle. She thought there might be someone in the mansion who could help her, so she followed the hedge for a while until she found a silver gate, but in front of the gate lay a humongous hound. When the hound had risen to its feet, it was a whole head taller than her and she took a step back. Then she noticed a silver chain from the hounds collar to the gate.

‘Will you let me in?’ she asked.

‘No,’ said the hound.

‘Why not?’

‘I cannot let anyone in,’ said the hound, ‘as long as I am chained to this gate, I can only serve my master.’

‘What if I released you from your chain?’

‘Then I would flee this place and you could go where you wished.’

She stepped up to the hound and opened its collar. The hound bounded off and she went through the gate and into the garden.

Thank You 2012, Hello 2013!

Thank you everyone for a great year!

I hope you will all visit plenty of times in the new one.

WordPress made a resume, “a year in the life of a blog”, so to speak. If you want to see it, continue reading below the picture, otherwise I hope to have a new text ready tomorrow 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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