(Title)

No, the title of this blog post is not a mistake.  Titles are one of many things I struggle with in my writing.  How do I solve it?  Uh...  Obviously it isn't solved today and is one of the reasons my post is late.  (Tardiness being another problem I haven't come to terms with, not only in writing but in life.  Let's save that for another time.)

It's the title of a piece of fiction or non-fiction that invites and entices a person to read what's been written.  A perfect example is Reese's title on Thursday.  Or Pat's.  Or Joan's.  Each of those had an element that pique a reader's interest. 

While my title above has no enticement, except to wonder why I didn't title my post, it pretty much conveys my struggle.  I hate trying to think of titles.

Of my twelve published books, only two have kept my original titles.  His Queen of Hearts (Sil. Romance 4/2006 and Family by Design (Harlequin American Romance 1/2008) miraculously made it through the editorial process.  Which is not to say the original titles of the others were bad.  Personally, I think Darlin' in Disguise has a better ring to it than The Truth About Plain Jane, but someone with more experience didn't agree.  And, in truth, the official title isn't far off from one of probably fifteen or so others that I later suggested.

Fifteen?  Yeah, fifteen.  Because authors are given the chance to suggest more titles. 

With the last six books--part of a series--I made it a habit not to give them a title.  Not a real title, anyway.  The original titles  included the name of the hero or heroine and a key word that told me something about the story.  Here's the list of my working titles and the books' published titles:

Tanner's Prize - The Rodeo Rider 
Taming Kate - Bachelor Cowboy 
Morgan's Pride - The Lawman's Little Surprise 
Nikki's Secret - The Reluctant Wrangler 
Tucker's Homecoming - The Maverick's Reward
Garrett's Woman - Bachelor Dad

130 titles total were sent.  5 of the suggested were chosen.  But I have to be honest.  I didn't think of all 130.  I'm part of a great group of authors with a talent for titles, so thanks to the Ditzy Chix, my books haven't gone untitled...like this post.

And now you know the whole story, at least about this particular struggle. One down and an infinite number to go.  ☺

11 comments:

Reese Mobley said...

Rox, I have a tendenacy to make my titles waaaaaay too long. Since I'm not published, sniff, I'll keep the wordiness. I have tried to change the title while working on the story and that just doesn't work. It feels like calling your kid by the wrong name. However, I'll gladly change the title for a publisher!

Rox Delaney said...

My intentions were to write the post last night, but I was having problems with choosing which struggle to write about. Then when I got a bit of an idea, I couldn't think of a title, so I ended up writing about titles.

Yes, I'm insane.

Rox Delaney said...

Oh, and I love your titles! They are SUPER!

Frances Louis said...

I had to giggle when I saw the lack of title on your post. All too often my WIPs go without a name. I simply call them "story one" and "story two". A contest entry demanding a title was the only reason that I finally sat down and named my darn story, and even then I slapped something together and prayed it sounded semi-represenative of my story's contents.

Eh, I'm hoping it works. I hoping that cheesy titles rule the day and my contest entry is selected as a winner...despite its lackluster name. :)

Rox Delaney said...

Fran, title your work whatever suits it and you, whenever you feel like doing it. It sure won't make or break a sale.

Harlequin uses specific buzz words for each of its lines. I'm not familiar with what other publishers do, but Harlequin has its reasons. Mine is not to question why... :)

If only my problem with titles was limited to titling books. (sigh)

Starla Kaye said...

Great post about something I know many writers struggle with.

Rox Delaney said...

Thanks, Starla. Too bad the title struggle is only the tip of my struggle iceberg. Even if I was able to solve most, there'd still be some ice cubes floating around.

Pat Davids said...

I have learned not to love my titles for the same reason you pointed out. The finished book rarely carries the one I started out with. Here's the story behind my next release.
First of my titles: Garden Angels
Rewrite title: Boots and Ballet Shoes
Published title: Love Thine Enemy
Rereleased title: Balancing Act
I do like this title and the new cover is adorable.
Pat

Melissa Robbins said...

Most mystery book titles have buzz words too. Death, murder, killer, and mystery. I'm probably missing some. I looked at Agatha Christie titles for help with mine. The titles of my WW2 era mystery WIPs,
Gas Mask Killer and Murder in the Blitz.

Penny Rader said...

I struggle with titles for blog posts and articles. Don't know why I find that more difficult than titles for books. While the book title might not come first, it feels weird to me if I don't have a title for whatever wip I'm working on. Maybe it's a fiction/non-fiction thing.

And, Reese, I love your titles, too, and I hope you get to keep them when your wonderful stories are snatched up and published for all the world to read and enjoy.

Penny Rader said...

Oops, forgot to add: Pat, I absolutely love, love, love the title Boots and Ballet Shoes.