Monday, August 31, 2009

Title Talk

MOOD STATUS: "Disappointed". Just realized my jury duty is for the entire week.

I have a confession to make. I never give too much thought to the titles of my manuscripts.

Whew. There. I feel so much better now.

I know I should. After all, publishing is a business and you want your title to stand out, but I like to focus on the writing of the story so much more. So I simply pick a phrase that pretty much tells me what the book is about and then I always figure I'll change it later.

Of course, that never happens. LOL!

However, I did notice after cleaning out my files this weekend that I did go through quite a number of titles for my recent Avalon romance Georgie on His Mind.
(Which, by the way, is a title I do NOT care for at all)

There. I admitted that, too. (Confession is good for the soul.)

Anyhew, here's the list of original titles I had for it:

Dream Man this didn't work for me because I felt it sounded paranormalish (is that a word?)

Brotherly Love Although this title does go with the storyline, it just sounds wrong for a romance, if you know what I mean.

Dream Date although my heroine does enter a date contest it's not the main focus of the story so I felt it didn't go.

My Best Friend's Sister actually, I still like this, but maybe it's a little too obvious.

I finally kept Georgie on His Mind because my hero can't get "Georgie" (short for Georgianna) off his mind, hence the title. I pretty much went with that because I was sick of thinking of titles.

To be honest, I thought I would be told to change the title. But for now, I guess it's staying. We'll see. Publishers usually know best.

In fact, according to Marvin D. Cloud's article: here's a list of books that started out with different titles:

• Tomorrow is Another Day became Gone With The Wind.

• Blossom and the Flower became Peyton Place.

• The Rainbow Book became Free Stuff For Kids.

• The Squash Book became the Zucchini Book.

• John Thomas and Lady Jane became Lady Chatterly’s Lover.

• Trimalchio in West Egg became Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

• Something that Happened became Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

• Catch 18 became Catch 22

Interesting, huh?

Anyway, five different titles for one manuscript is a record for me.

How about you?

What's the most number of titles you've had for one manuscript?


Chicki said...

I LOVE your title! Everyone knows the song, so it will be easy for them to remember.

The only manuscript I changed several times was my first. Since then I chose a title and stuck with it.

Jessica said...

Wow, that is interesting!

I haven't changed titles.
Yet. LOL Most of the time I stick with the one I have, no matter how inappropriate it is. *grin*

Kristen Painter said...

I think Georgie On His Mind is a great title. Don't fight it. lol

Eileen Astels Watson said...

That's a lot of titling!!

I think the most I've had for one is three, but they were fleating. I decided pretty fast, but that doesn't mean that they'll stick either!

Robyn Campbell said...

I've never had a problem with titles until I started on my new WIP. Oh man. This thing has gone through so many titles, I've decided to call it X for now. :)

I loved reading what the titles ended up as. I know the publisher often changes it anyway.

The MG novel I finished in June, and am querying now, was really always SEVENTY TWO HOURS. I fooled around with a couple others, but always came back to the original title. :)

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Yes, interesting. Catch 18...hmmm. Thinking. I like thinking of titles and I like how yours plays on the song. I don't marry my titles though b/c I know one day they may change.
~ Wendy

Stephanie Newton said...

I pick titles, but try not to get attached to them. I have no clue why editors pick the titles they pick, but I figure they know waaaay better than I do what will sell.

I think PERFECT TARGET had about half a dozen titles. I changed it every time I subbed it somewhere, went through quite a few variations. ;o)

Tess said...

Yes, very interesting. And, titles are subjective. I love mine and I've had rejections that said, 'sorry pass, great title, though!', but I have a few writing friends who absolutely hate it. Even my mother hates it. Oh well, to each their own. And, if it gets changed, that's fine too.

oh, my title, just in case you're wondering is - 'With A Name Like Love'.

Stephanie Faris said...

I think I suck at titling but sometimes the titles come to me right away, along with the concept. Sometimes they're much more elusive. The original title for my manuscript, about a man who owns a gym, was Bikini Season. But that title was taken and didn't really capture the book, so I changed it to Gym Bunnies. Now I'm thinking if Pump and Grind...but I'm not sure about that one! Lately it seems I'm fickle.

quixotic said...

I'm no good with titles either. Catch 18 was changed to catch 22. I have to admit. 22 is a snappy number. LoL. It's neat to know that other titles weren't as brilliant once. It give me hope.

Thanks for sharing.

Kristen Torres-Toro @ Write in the Way said...

Ha! I love that: "Something that Happened"!

My titles usually come to me in the middle of a story. It makes me crazy, but sometimes I don't get them until the manuscript is almost complete. I think doing that keeps me from changing it many times, though. Usually one or two takes and I think I have it.

Diane Craver said...

I struggle with titles. My first inspirational romance was Yearning before switching to No Greater Loss. I even asked my editor for a new title but she liked NGL. A Fiery Secret was the first title for my chick-lit mystery. I struggled with title for Never the Same.

I like your Avalon title - it's a great one. And you did great with The Role of a Lifetime - another good title.

T. Anne said...

I think you're great at titles! Love Georgie on his mind! And loved Role of a Lifetime. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Robyn: LOL! I like "X".

Tess: Yes, that's a great title!

JStantonChandler said...

My titles will either come to me out of the blue or they come kicking and screaming, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It took me seven years to not only write my trilogy, but also to come up with a title for each book. And I still have no clue what to call the trilogy (if it even needs a name at all). I feel your frustration for titles. I really do.


Cindy said...

I like the title you ended up with. It doesn't sound cliche and it makes me curious.

I've probably only ever had two titles at most for a book. I had one different one for my WIP before I decided on Runner's Pass (at least for the moment). I'm really terrible with titles.

Jill Kemerer said...

Yeah, Brotherly Love is kind of creepy! I love the new title!

Erin said...

I always liked that title. it's catchy. personally i can't start a book until i have the title.

Jody Hedlund said...

I struggle with titles too! I hope that I'll get lots of help from editors someday!

FictionGroupie said...

I hate trying to come up with a title. My YA started out as The Scholarship because I didn't want to think of something clever at the time. Then I eventually changed it to Shadow Falls, which I mostly like.

My romance started off as Rockstar, because, well, it's about a rockstar. Can you tell how darn good at this i am? lol I then changed it to Wanderlust (the name of the band).

Jeanette Levellie said...

I keep with one title throughout the writing, but i've yet to have a book contract, so we'll see what becomes of my working title when that happens.

I love playing with words and trying to come up with new twists on them. Sometimes that happens from a typo, like Jenni-fur can be a new kind of mink coat designed by a lady named Jenni. Not a great example, but you get it, I'm sure.

Great post! I love a good confession!

Jen, Audience of ONE

Rick and Monique Elgersma said...

I've only most recently started thinking harder about my blog titles! I've a couple manuscripts awaiting a good title.

Glad to find you.

Terri Tiffany said...

First let me say I am sorry about your week long jury duty because I just got a letter saying I had to report for the same thing. AAAHHH. I don't want to get picked@
ANd yes, I went through about three or four titles for my most recent book. But they will probably change it someday anyways!

Ms Snarky Pants said...

Titles are SO hard! I don't think I've ever been happy with one I decided on...

Kathryn Magendie said...

I am horrid at titles, so I usually write UNTITLED PIECE until something comes to mind.

TEnder Graces had many different titles - some of them really really bad and some of them so so and some of them I wish I could have used but someone beat me to it!

Jaime Theler said...

My favorite working title is "My Book." You can't beat that for awfulness! :)

Renee said...

Ok, now I have Georgia stuck in my head. Thank you, very much. ;)

My first manuscript, the one I'm still polishing up has been changed four times. The two following it (yes, I've started on them) have been changed two or three times. But my Westerns, I haven't changed at all. They'll stay until I'm asked to change them.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you remember what I (if you even remeber me LOL)told you when I was critting My Best Friend's Sister. (Hint: Crusie).

Congratulations on the sales.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, Mercy! I DO remember. :)

Glynis said...

I had 5 titles for my ms, reduced it to 3 then went back to origional!