Books -- reading and writing.
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And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Title Picking

Titles are really hard for me. I latch onto one that should be considered a "working title" and then abolished forever, and I can't let it go. This is the case of my mid-grade ms about Sister Cockersole and the Rest Easy Boarding House. Originally it was known (only to me) as Train Doctor. Don't ask. Then it became Pretty Nearly, which has a nice ring. But some thought that meant nothing (some, obviously not Southern). So I'm going with Sixteen Rules for Living at the Rest Easy. At least for now.

I put that title into Lulu's titlescorer. A handy little gadget, probably useless in the real world, but kind of fun. Having read about it in The Writer Magazine, I figured it might be legit. So I filled in the blanks and tried out Sixteen Rules for Living at the Rest Easy. Turns out my novel has a 14 % chance of becoming a best seller with that title. But I'm not sure the folks at Lulu are up on the latest kids' book titles. How to Steal a Dog. Higher Power of Lucky. Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You.

I could go on and on with the funny, quirky, often very long titles writers give their books for kids.

Titles for essays are easier. And often get changed so it doesn't seem to matter that much what I title an essay. Editors, especially newspaper editors, have a real knack for writing catchy titles.

I like what Linda George advises in an article on the ICL website- Titles should be fun to say out loud. I think I need more alliteration. More fun. Back to work on my Sixteen Rules thing.


Barbara O'Connor said...

Well you little sneak! Thought you could keep your blog a secret, did ya? Ha! I found it! Oh, the wonders of Google Alerts.

I've used that Lulu scorer thing before and, I don't know, I don't believe it....

And I think Pretty Nearly is a good title.

I read a quote somewhere by some writer (can't remember, of course) who described titles as being like the "front porch" of the book. I like that description....

Anonymous said...

Well, we at The Writer like numbers, and I really like your title Sixteen Rules for Living at the Rest Easy. I think it’s catchy and intriguing. I wonder what the rules are … and what kind of place the Rest Easy is with a name like that and so many rules!

Best of luck to you in your search for the perfect title.

Sarah Lange, associate editor of The Writer

Augusta Scattergood said...

Thanks, Sarah. Fun hearing from an editor at a magazine I've been reading forever. Augusta