What’s My Title? I know. You’re probably saying “Wannabe Princess” “Prima Donna” maybe even “Old Duck.” But hey, I’m not talking about that kind of title, today I’m talking about the title of your work in progress. This can be for artwork, photography, a blog site, any creative venture. Where do you come up with titles? When do you arrive at your chosen title: before the work begins, during the planning stage, after the first attempt? How married are you to your title?
Okay, so now you’re back and alert, right? Oops, that’s another question. We will assume the answer to that one is yes. Anyway, I recently had a bit of a conundrum (I love that word) to work out. Before I’d written much of the rough draft, I’d researched and carefully chosen the title of my novel, London Calling, basing the title on a work by a London based band. Then that title got overused when the summer Olympics were on. But I didn’t worry. Heck, there was even a fashion show out here in my little desert town that used the title. I knew this work would not be finished for a long time, (I had to keep putting it aside during the last year when I published and promoted four books, yikes!) so I figured by the time I came to publish it the Olympics would be long past.
A couple of months ago, I visited the blog site of the 2012 golden heart finalists, and one of my fellow finalists is from England. She announced the book she was working on was titled, London Calling. Even though I know titles are not copyrighted, and there are often multiple books with the same title, it didn’t seem right to use this one. As I read the author’s news, I had that sinking feeling like a pricked helium balloon, inhaling the helium, my voice squeaking, “Oh damn, no!” It seemed so personal, which is silly, really. But, after looking closely at the situation—her book had a focus on the city of London, and mine had a London subplot—I decided I would not use the title. However, I couldn’t come up with anything that appealed to me.
A couple of weeks ago, I hit on a new title. It resonated with me, and excited me. It made me get that work that had stalled at rough draft refined, and polished. And you know what? I like this title better.
Today, along with its new title, the polished draft is off to Beta readers. Yay! But am I telling you the title yet? Not on your sweet life. : )