Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tips for Terrific Titles

One of the questions asked in the comments on my 5/4 blog was: What tips do you have for creating a good title for a novel? Based on the discussion and on my experience in publishing, I've come up with 4 top tips to titling. And I'll jump right into them...after Mother's Day. So stay tuned!

Until then, here's an exercise for you. Come up with titles for the following novels:

Romantic Suspense--woman discovers wolves on her Wyoming ranch, and fights to keep them hidden from ranchers. Wildlife biologist is sent in, under the guise of taking a job on her ranch, to determine if reports of wolf sightings are true. Behind the scenes, someone is out to kill the wolves--no matter who gets in the way. Elements of story: suspense, danger, wildlife, romance, time running out.

Thriller--woman computer whiz discovers a hidden website--one belonging to a vicious serial killer. She goes to the FBI, but they don't think it's real. The killer, however, knows he's been hacked, and backtracks to find the culprit. When the woman's friends start disappearing, then turning up dead--killed in horrific ways--she takes control and emails the killer through his website, telling him she's going to find him and kill him. He tells her there's no way she can do that. She grits her teeth and sends her response: "Just watch me." And proceeds to do exactly what she said.

Contemporary--Older woman with macular degeneration starts having hallucinations. She knows that a symptom of her disease, but this hallucination is different from the others she's had. It's Huck Finn. And it does more than just show up. He starts talking to her. Through struggles to repair broken family relationships and personal epiphanies, she and Huck discuss life, family, and faith--and she discovers that God's truth sometimes comes in very surprising packages.

All three are actual books. So share your titles, and then I'll tell you the real titles.

Have fun!



Anonymous said...

okay, I'll try, Karen. For the contemporary, how about
Seeing Finn

or for the thriller: Just Watch

Rel said...

Well, I already know the title to the Romantic Suspense - good book, that!! And to the contemporary. The thriller has me stumped but this isn't about that, is it?!

I'm not so good with coming up with titles so I'll just throw in that I like books in a series to have a theme or thread running through them. I get peeved if the first to are themed together and then the third is totally different :)

Looking forward to reading people's title ideas.

Teri Dawn Smith said...

For the romantic suspense: Hiding Wolves (who would tackle such a thing?)

For the thriller: Hacking for Murder (wow, that sounds cheesy)

For the contemporary: Visions of Finn.

Okay, now I'm really glad the publishers decide on the titles!

I'm looking forward to you tips on titles.

Cara Putman said...

For the romantic suspense: A Wolf in the Night...

For the thriller: Watch Me, Watch, Watcher Beware, I'll be Seeing You (in all the old familiar places...for those who love 40s music)

For the Contemporary: Huck for All Times (okay too much!),

See, I'm so not good at titles! I'm amazed when any of mine stick :-)

Nicole said...

Thriller: Killer Mail

Peg Brantley said...

Romantic Suspense: WOLF DANCE

Thriller: CLICK

Contemporary: FINN AGAIN (sorry, this one didn't click with me, or make me dance.)

Janet Spaeth said...

#1: "Wyoming Wolf Woman" (kidding!)
"Baying at the Moon"
#2: "The Dead Site"
(I thought of "Hacked to Death" but that had grimmer connotations that I was comfy with)
#3: "Do My Eyes Deceive Me?"

Okay, I admit it. I am *horrible* at this.

She Reads said...

I'm stumped on the contemporary title, but on the other two I'd suggest:

Romance: Running Wild

Suspense: Hacked

Just my two cents. :-)

Karen B. said...

Lovin' your titles, all! Keep 'em coming!

ConnieBrz said...

You want your loyal lurkers to come up with titles?

*Titles??* (insert big-eyed pathetic look here)

My WIP's get titles like:

Rather Silly Book About Girl Stuff


Angst Filled Tome' That Needs New Title Pronto

--so how about:

Wolf Girl Gets Her Man

Hacker/Computer Whiz Woman Saves the Day

Blind Woman Chats up Hallucination Huck

So Sorry. . .resisting urge to post under anonymous :)

Lynette Sowell said...

1. Wolf Cry
2. Watch Me; Watching; Always Watching;
3. Chatting With Finn; Finn and Me

Lynn Squire said...

I've never been good at titles - usually come up with something cheesy, but here's what I've come up with:

Romantic - Wolf Hunt

Thriller - Just Watch Me

Contemporary - My Friend Huck

Deborah said...

Romantic Suspense - Cry of the Wolf or Protecting the Hunted

Thriller - The Blue Screen of Death, I added the "blue" because that's what I call it when my computer hangs up or Backtrack

I already know the contemporary one, just waiting for a copy to float by so I can read it.

Karen B. said...

You guys are great. And smart!

Okay, so here are the actual titles:

The wolf story: REUNION. Yes, as many of you hinted, it was my novel. And that wasn't the title I'd wanted. I wanted soemthing with wolf in it, but I've grown to love the title because it's about reunions--wolves coming back to that region, a woman being reunited with her heart and the ability to love again. But still, I liked some of your titles better!

The suspense/thriller: WATCH ME. See? Some of you got it! And it was the perfect title for this book. I picked it up years ago and still have it. Great, TENSE story.

The contemporary: SEEING THINGS. Because the story is about the woman not just seeing Huck, but seeing herself, her family, and her faith more clearly.

So there you have it.

Aren't titles fun??

Karen Barnett said...

Okay, I'm too late to get in on this game, but I wanted to call the wolf story, "Crying Wolf" Or "Never Cry Wolf."