Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tales of an Unpublished Writer: Writing a Book, Part One

aka The Title that Comes Before the Story


Welcome to the Bizarro world of novel writing. Today’s post will talk about how to create a title.

(Looking for some background on Bizarro writing? Go here. )



What Matters Most

Sure, a lot of titles created by authors and writers are changed. Some writers don’t even bother, just calling their mss by the names of the lead characters: Leo and Andi, for example. They leave the work to the editors and marketing team.  But, I’d like to argue some titles can make a difference. They catch the attention of an agent or editor.

Imagine a publishing professional's delight as they pull an unread mss from an overwhelming stack just because of the title: Taming of the Stew.

Creating a bizarro title can also be a fun way to keep your focus on the story. It takes more than a week to write, edit, re-write, re-edit, submit, re-write again – so why not have something to focus attention on the never-ending story?

Pick Two Thoughts

Using a pivotal point in the story to develop a title is common. However, I recommend picking two random thoughts for the title. What if your hero is a physician who like to wear fuzzy socks to bed at night? My Doc in Furry Socks was a title I once used for a story.



Or maybe the carpenter heroine like to work in bar maid attire: Maid for Tooling

The title could be a also play or twist on another, more familiar title. Take Shakespeare's All's Well that Ends Well and it soon turns into All’s Well that Ends with a Funky Twist. Or maybe Ham-let becomes Ham for Rent.  

Okay, so let me have it. What titles can we come up with?

Abbi's Tally, September 2012

Working on 2 requested fulls, one requested R&R and one requested partial. 

Anyone going for So You Think You Can Write



Abbi :-)


 Abbi Wilder is in the writing/editing mode now that kids are in school. She can be found on Twitter (@abbi_wilder) or blogging . . . somewhere. 

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