What's in a Name?
Today I want to talk about book titles. I've seen some on Twitter who are struggling with naming their #WIP and I myself have been struggling with the title of the book I just finished.
My first book I called "A Home for Christmas" and, while the title is pretty self explanatory, I've never not liked it. I've never wanted to change it, even though I know if it ever gets traditionally published, it will likely change. However, my second book has a title I don't love. It's called "The Winter Visitor" and it was inspired by the myth or legend that seeing a cardinal in one's yard means that a lost loved one is visiting. Lately, I haven't been loving this title. Over the weekend, I started brainstorming new titles, but some of the ones I loved, others didn't.
I thought "Cardinal Love" would be nice. It's sort of a play on two phrases: Cardinal Rule and Cardinal Sin. A cardinal rule is an unbreakable rule and cardinal sin could refer to one of the seven deadly sins or it could refer to a serious error in judgment. In my book, the two romantic leads were high school sweethearts. A character who is referred to in the book, but who the reader never really gets to meet, helped orchestrate their break-up. So, by combining the meanings of the two phrases, it kind of encompasses both relationships: their unbreakable love for each other and a serious error in judgment on the part of the character who broke them up.
Some of my friends thought "Cardinal Love" sounded too much like "Carnal Love" which doesn't work for a sweet romance. Others thought using cardinal at all would signify a religious figure instead of the bird. One person suggested "Wings of Love" but unfortunately that phrase has been used in some way for over 200 books according to Good Reads. Maybe when I am ready to edit the book, I'll be inspired by a new idea. For now, I think I'll just continue to call it "The Winter Visitor" until I can come up with something better.
The next project I have, which I plan to start during #NaNoWriMo, actually has a name I currently love. It's "Down in the River Valley" and is inspired by a real summer camp that I both attended and worked at during my childhood and teen years. I'm planning to take a bit of a break from writing and editing to brainstorm and outline this new idea. I will return to editing my first book by the beginning of October so I can really jump into querying later that month.
How do you come up with your book titles? Do you find yourself changing the title often or do you typically stick with a title once you've come up with one?
Leave a Reply.
Book reviews, random thoughts, and writing samples from an aspiring author.