As anyone who’s ever been around me when I’m trying to come up with a title knows, I’m crap at them. The original title of The Goddess Test was Persephone, and it only changed after an excruciatingly difficult brainstorming session. My titles for the next two books are equally as bad, and I’m positive they’re going to change somewhere down the road. The manuscript I wrote shortly after I finished TGT was called The Fake Princess, and yes, it was as bad as it sounds.
But tonight, thanks to my co-workers, an online thesaurus, and lots of bad jokes, I came up with titles for the next trilogy I’ve been working on, the one that evolved from the basic story of TFP, called Masked. That’s the first title I’ve been proud of in a long time. And now the next two–especially the one I have planned for the third–thrill me. The new titles tells me where the story’s going, and it gives me a goal to shoot for.
A lot of people judge books by their covers. I’m a title girl. If the title doesn’t grab me, it’ll be that much harder for me to pick it up. Artwork is great, and a lot of times that makes the book iconic (Twilight, anyone?), but in the end, what matters most to me about a book is its title.
The funny thing is, a title is so flexible. Changing the title doesn’t change the content. You could call a book a million things, but there’s usually only going to be one that jumps out at you. There were nearly twenty words on that online thesaurus that could have worked, but only one made me stand up straight and say “That’s totally it.” Well, okay, two.
But the important thing here is, they’re titles I love. Titles I could definitely live with on the shelf. I struggle with titles to the point where I get anxious when I have to think up another, but even before these books are written, I feel like I have something wonderful to look forward to, and to me, that’s a huge relief.