Writing has always been an intuitive process for me.
So I’m all about asking the question DOES IT FEEL RIGHT?
Choosing a title is a great example of this process.
Have you ever read a book and thought: what was the name of this again?
The title was just so maddeningly vague.
But have you also read a book and thought: this is the best name for this book. There could be NO OTHER name for this book. This TITLE is sheer perfection!
Yes, I’m sure you have!
The title just FELT RIGHT.
Here’s one way you can test out this feeling.
The first Harry Potter book had two different titles. If you are in the US it is called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In the UK, it is called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
They changed it (apparently) because publishers in the US assumed kids wouldn’t read a book with the word PHILOSOPHER in it.
(I suspect someone also said, at a meeting: HEY THIS NEW TITLE HAS ALLITERATION! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?)
So now test it out. Repeat both you yourself.
Which one resonates? Doesn’t one FEEL better than the OTHER?
When going through my recent poetry writing renaissance, I realized that I could not deliberate forever on poem titles.
A poem needs a title or else it feels unfinished. SO WHAT IS THE TITLE?
If you want to build your title-naming muscles, go write a bunch of poems. You will need to give them titles. What do you want to call them?
Some suggestions for where to start:
No need to get too fancy with alliteration and so on. Just try and find the heart of the matter.
A title is like trying on a pair of shoes. You’ll know which one fits as soon as you try it on.
Dear writers, how do you find your titles?