Sunday, November 20, 2011

Monday's Meanderings: Thoughts on Titles

Today I was reading something totally unrelated to writing, and certainly to titles, when one popped into my head: Dead Girl Walking. Where in the world did that come from? It sounds intriguing. It could be a mystery, it could even be historical...well, depending. But I haven't started a new novel yet, althought I have bits and pieces of 3 new ones to begin seriously working on, yet I don't see that particular title as being very appealing to any one of the 3.

So where do good titles come from? My historical novel, from day one, was titled "Escape On The Train Without Tracks." That title held for 3 years. Then one day, recently, as I was working on an edit, I suddenly thought...The Freedom Thief. It seemed perfect, and that is the title under which I'm submitting it. Yet I have no idea where it came from.

My first novel, T he Year of the Scream or Why I Hate Cheerleading, Chocolate, and Celine Carroll,  was one where the title came to me after only writing a few pages. At the time, I wasn't even sure what part "Celine Carroll" was going to play, or even if she was going to be a major character. But it seemed to fit from the very first chapter, and I've never changed it. I'm submitting the novel under that title, and unless the editor wants it changed, that's what it will be.

Dead Girl Walking: I can't get it out of my head. And as I've pondered on it, I have realized that maybe...just maybe...this is the title for the story about Gabriela...the character who woke me up one early...very early...morning last week. Maybe...Gabriela is Dead Girl Walking.

Where do you get your ideas for your titles? Do they suddenly pop into your head for no reason, or do you take your time, and let the title slowly immerge from the storyline? Do your titles come from something you've read, a newspaper headline that, with a little tweaking, seems to be "just perfect" for that new story? Or do they sneak up on you, a little at a time, sometimes surprising you? And once you decide upon a title, do you ever change it on your own, or because someone says the title doesn't fit the story? Think about it!

Until next time,
That's a wrap.