fiction

Searching the Sludge

My least favorite part of writing a novel has got to be coming up with the title. (It falls just a tiny bit ahead of editing).

Today I decided that I’m going to self-publish my NaNo novel from last year. It’s already been edited to within an inch of it’s life, although it could probably use another pass, and all that’s left to do, aside from formatting and chapters and everything, is to come up with a decent title.

My other publisher, which is genre-specific and therefore not right for this novel, told me that, “Titles are ads.” The title is what’s going to draw the attention and get someone interested in reading your book.

The current title is “Chasing Sunsets.” When you type that into Amazon, you get at least 6 books with the same title and over 30 other results that somehow (in Amazon’s twisted mind) relate. Clearly, that title is too common. It also says very little about the book, which is mostly about repairing broken relationships. It’s hard to fit all the themes of the book which range from self-acceptance to forgiveness to friendship all into one little phrase that will fit on the cover.

So in order to figure this out, I started with the basics.

1) Create a one-sentence summary of your book.

2) What are the themes of your novel?

3) What are some recurring events or words used in your novel?

4) What are the important elements of the novel? (Setting, characters, etc)

5) What is important about the above things?

That basically led me to a list of potential titles. A couple may have potential, but I’ll have to think about it for a few days. I don’t have to pick it right now, although I do think at least completing one aspect of this will help me feel more accomplished on the way to publishing.

How do you pick a title? Sometimes they just come to me, but more often than not, it’s a struggle.