Write a Novel: Title Your Book

Writing tips

You’ve got an idea for a novel, or you’ve completed a novel. Either way, you feel you need a title.

Titling your book is fun.

This post, Writability: Book Titles: How Do You Choose?, gives you an excellent method for creating titles:

“You start with creating a list of themes, images and potential title ideas. As is the case with most brainstorming, this is a stage where you don’t censor. Anything you think of goes on the list—even if it’s ridiculous or a terrible-sounding title. The idea is to write as many ideas as you can without censoring your writing at all, so that you can go back and eliminate choices later. “

I need to confess; it wouldn’t work for me.

Usually, I create a title, and then write the book. Titles are easy for me, so rather than start writing, or creating an outline, I generate a list of titles. The list is appropriate to the genre of the book I’m planning.

Currently I’m writing a series of Regency romances. Each title starts with the name of the heroine of each book.

Here are some tips for creating titles

* Focus on the genre, then choose a noun, and an adjective.

Let’s say you’re writing a mystery. Off the top of your head, you choose a noun — “knife”. Without thinking about it, you free-associate adjectives: dark, sharp, silver, long, etc.

Nothing strikes you as particularly appropriate, so you explore Wikipedia on “knife”.)

Finally you end up with a title for your book: “The Case of the Bad Luck Knife”.

* Read poetry

You title should be evocative, and poetry is all about emotion. Read your favorite poets, and see what you come up with. Many authors get their titles from Shakespeare.

* Visit your favorite art gallery site

Paintings are also about generating emotion. Do a search for art galleries online, and browse. Think about the emotions your genre aims to inspire in its readers.

Vital — don’t panic. 🙂

If you haven’t finished your novel, don’t sweat the title. You’ve got plenty of time. Chances are that you’ll find a wonderful title for your book buried somewhere in the text itself.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.