Earlier today, I was going through Goodreads and was thinking about how authors come up with titles for their books. I find it to be one of the most difficult things to do, besides actually finishing the book.
I’ve seen some titles that are rather generic looking, which is unfortunate. They’re not memorable. I’ve seen some that make little to no sense to me when I see the book cover. However, those ones make sense once I read the book.
So, where does the title come from? When is the book given a title? To answer the second question, I guess it depends. I’ve already got a title for my first book, but have no idea what to do about the titles for my trilogy. My short story that I’m writing for Camp NaNoWriMo has a provisional title that I may stick with. As for the first question, let’s look at a few methods I’ve observed.
First is the straightforward title. This kind describes the book in the simplest terms. It basically tells us what it is. For example, The Hobbit tells us it’s about a hobbit. It’s that easy.
Second, there’s the title that takes an important element of the story, often some important object. For this example, it could be The Sword of Shannara.
Next, the title could describe some concept that’s mentioned in the book. It’s something that plays an important part in the story. An example is Wizard’s First Rule.
And then there’s the title that makes very little sense unless you actually read the book. Often, the title comes from something that is said. For example, Angel Fire East.
These are just some types of titles I can think of on short notice. As for my stories in progress, they’re two different types. Journey to Ariadne is the first type. It’s straightforward and it tells you exactly what it is. The short story I’m working on, Fractured, is the third type. It’s an important concept that will be revealed in the story.
How do you think of titles? And do you have any suggestions for other title categories? Let me know in the comments.
In an odd twist, as I was thinking about what to say for this post, I saw that someone else wrote about the same topic less than 2 hours ago. So, if you’d like to check out what he says, definitely go see it. It’s an interesting post to read.