Entitled

13 Jul

Although the word-count for the title of a work doesn’t come close to the number of words in the prose, the task of naming a manuscript can be equally, if not more difficult than writing the actual story.  One has to encompass the entire plot in a few words and entice potential readers to choose that book over millions of other stories. 

Granted, there are multiple other factors involved in attracting an audience: the synopsis on the back cover or jacket of the book, the cover design itself, and, surprisingly, even the author’s photograph. 

However, in my opinion, the TITLE still plays an enormous role in whether or not your work will draw people in or repel the masses.

But how do you come up with a title?  Unfortunately, I have yet to discover a magical formula or five-step process to titling one’s work.  My first book’s title, The Mirrors at Barnard Hall, stemmed from the fact that the entire premise is based on enchanted mirrors in a stately home in England.  For me, the title alludes at the mystery (What’s going on with the mirrors at this Barnard Hall place?) and the noble history associated with the setting (Barnard Hall sounds quite posh).

The title of my second book (a WIP), Flight Risk, is actually the title of a “song” the male-lead, Jaxon Lee, wrote about his first love, Evelyn Ryan.  It hints at tension (“risk”) and makes me think of an escaped convict. 

My third book’s title (another WIP), Semester of Thursdays, came from the fact that nearly every chapter takes place on a different Thursday during the course of a final semester in college. 

When attempting to conjure a reader-grabbing title for your work, my only piece of advice is this: when you have an idea, write it down. You don’t want that moment of brilliance to get lost in the millions of other words floating around in your head.

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