“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!

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