Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Title me happy!


Yes! I am so excited that my book has a new title. I was technically on a blogging break when this happened, so here it is, in all its Control-ishness.

When I first wrote my book, the original title, THE FOUNTAIN, was the first thing that popped into my mind. Somehow, it managed to stick like Gorilla glue with an OCD complex.

I knew it had to change. I knew from the very beginning. The title didn't encompass more than a single aspect of the book, and that wasn't good enough for me.

Plus, Darren Aronofsky already has a movie with this title. It scored slightly more rotten than fresh by critics on Rotten Tomatoes. I don't know about you, but when I'm eating a tomato, "slightly more rotten than fresh" doesn't cut it. Call me a food snob, but...

...anyway. I digress.

So I made a huge list of other titles that were mildly sucktacular. Possibly stinktacular. I submitted them to my ├╝ber-editor, Kathy Dawson, but luckily, this one popped into her brain.

It has several meanings (none of which I can go into, for spoiler reasons.) But when I first heard it, I admit I was surprised. I guess I thought my title would end up being something like:

The Unbearable Lightness of Not Being My Main Character
How I Stopped Worrying and Love the Process of Revision
Bore-me: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Lydia

But instead, it was simply CONTROL. And it's perfect.

Me = Happy.


So--how do you find the perfect title for your work? Do you get it on the first try, or go through many changes? Oh, and if you can--tell me the title of your current WIP! Pretty please? With non-FD&C-red-and-preservative-free cherries on top?

55 comments:

Krispy said...

I noticed your title change in your sidebar! How snappy and short! Congrats! Can't wait to see how it relates to the story. Also, confession, I did think of the movie when I first heard The Fountain.

Titles are hard. It's like the last thing I do when it comes to my WIPs. I usually just have a nickname/stand-in name, so that I know what I'm writing/referring to.

Tory Michaels said...

Totally agreed that titles are HARD!

My current WIP is titled Dreams of Blood, which falls in line with the other books in the series (Blood Rage and Blood-Mage Rising).

Stephanie Thornton said...

Titles are hard--I'm so glad my editor decided to go with The Secret History for my book on Theodora due to its historical significance. (I got to kind of slam the historian Procopius). Ha!

We'll see what happens for the titles of my other books!

Old Kitty said...

Yayayyayay for your succinct and fab title! Control!! I like very much!!!

I'm terrible at titles. They always jump out at me in the middle of my stories!

Take care
x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Short and simple - I like it! And that's now your power word. You'll be inspired every time you see it.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Love your title. I wish I could think of a one word title for mine or any title for my new project which is currently called "new story". Hope it'll come to me as I keep writing.

Justine Dell said...

LoL. I think I like the long title. ;-) Control works, too.

Titles for me come pretty easy. Most of them actually come BEFORE I've even started writing the book. It's almost like the title is what gives me the idea for the book. I've been luck thus far and my publisher has kept the original names.

The title for my current project? Touch of the Heart. HOWEVER, as I've been writing it, I've been noticing a strange theme and I think I might change it to UNTIL NEXT TIME.

~JD

Louise Bates said...

Oh, I hate titles. Hate them. The ones that come out of my brain always end up being so lame.

My working title for my current WIP is Magic & Mayhem, which is fine but I'm thinking a little too cutesy for the tone of the book. I'll just have to keep cudgeling my brain and requesting help from others!

Connie Keller said...

I love your new title.

Titles are so hard for me. My son actually came up with the title for Screwing Up Time.

storyqueen said...

Always been a fan of the one-word-title.

(I remember the movie, The Fountain, now...ugh.)

Good change!

Shelley

Jenny Woolf said...

Mine is "Aldbury Park" But it sounds a bit like a Jane Austen story, and my story is really totally off the wall. I need to find another one. But "Aldbury Park" inspired me, somehow.

Jessie Andersen said...

I seem to have an easy time with chapter titles, but not so much with book titles. My first novel, which, btw, is being released tomorrow by Astraea Press (Yes, I love shameless self promotion) is called AT WHAT COST. One of my former students came up with that name. I had it named a variety of other, utterly horrific titles.

I think I'm improving over time, however, because my WIP is called THE UNVIABLES. It's a dystopian about "unviable" children. I am having trouble with the sequel title.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Generic one-word titles can make the book hard to find in search engines. I mean if I just type "Control" into Amazon's books category there are 192,848 results and I doubt yours would be first or even in the top 1000 unless I use a combination of your name and the title.

If you type in my upcoming book's title "A Hero's Journey" you get only 3,573 results. Mine still might not be in the top 1000 though so that's a problem. Now the title of the sequel "Time Enough to Say Goodbye" only comes up with 175 hits, so that's a lot better.

Carol Kilgore said...

Simple and easy. I like it! And I can't wait to see your cover :)

IN NAME ONLY had two other titles before that one finally stuck. Sometimes I know the title right away; sometimes I'm half done before it pops in my head.

My WIP is AMAZING GRACIE.

Linda Gray said...

I love one-word titles. CONTROL is cool, congrats! Yes, titles are SO hard, and SO important. Anyone who's a title genius could go into business just with that. I've found a nifty site that sometimes helps. It's called Phrase Thesaurus. Put in your concept word and it will give you options (for a fee, but if you're a word geek it's worth it!).

Ghenet Myrthil said...

It's a very intriguing title! Congrats. :)

My WIP title is THE RIGHT EXPOSURE. I was really excited when I came up with it because it works so well with my plot. But if I find a publisher and they want to change it to something better, I'd be open to it.

Shelly said...

I love the title. Succint, yet packing a wallop. I only write blog postings and grocery lists, so I don't have to concern myself unduly with titles.

Kelly Polark said...

I like simple, short titles like that!!

Congrats, Lydia!

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Exciting!!!! Control is a great title! Congratulations.
As a rule, I have a horrible time coming up with decent titles. The title of Dog Gone changed so often that I started being confused as to what to call it. Buck Fever, though, popped right into my head and actually made it to the cover of the book. As for my current WIP, I'm still wrestling with what to call it.

nutschell said...

Awesome title. Makes me ask tons of questions about your book already:)
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

LD Masterson said...

I like Control. It would pull my eye if I was book-browsing.

My WIP is Hunter's Way.

Barbara Watson said...

Love your new title! Catchy. One word. Simple. Awesome.

Titles are so hard. It's boiling your book down to several words kind of hard. My current WIP is UNDER THE WILLOW. I don't love it and will explore options during revision.

Kate said...

I go through loads of titles before I settle on one I like - and if I ever get a book deal I'm sure it will change again :-)

Bathwater said...

Sounds like a good title for how you manage everything in your life! Or a book.

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm horrible with titles. Look at the Sholes Key. I like to based the title on the code in the book but I really couldn't think of a better title, so it stuck. I like Control.

lbdiamond said...

LOL!

Nice title--I like it's complex simplicity. ;)

I suck at titles...

Southpaw said...

I like the new title. It's got that curious feel to it. Titles are hard to come up with so I feel for you struggles to get there.

Angela Felsted said...

Mmm, well, it depends on the book. Some of them practically scream there intended title, but others still allude me to this day.

Congrats on your book title. I happen to think it's a really great one. Easy to remember and to the point.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Awesome new title!! Congratulations!

The original title of my first book was HIGH SPIRITS, but that's a cheesy movie from the 80's so I was asked to change it. I totally struck out though. Credit for WE HEAR THE DEAD goes to one of my fifth grade students. Seriously.

THE CAGED GRAVES had a title before I even came up with the plot, and since it's a hook in itself, the publisher has decided to keep it. Yay!

My current WIP, a contemporary fantasy (which is a real stretch for me) is currently titled GRUNSDAY.

Deb Salisbury said...

Hurray! Congratulations on landing a great title!

Meredith said...

Oooh, I love the title CONTROL! I'm terrible at titles. I never think of one until I have to query. :)

Precy Larkins said...

I always have a hard time with titles. Glad you found the perfect one for your WIP! Most of my WIPs don't have final titles--I merely give them a one-word name so I can remember which one is which. For instance, in one WIP my main character's name is Selene, so the file is labeled SELENE. Hehehe! :)

alexia said...

I pretty much always have a hard time at first. I come up the a placeholder at least (a nickname if you will) and then after the first draft I make a list of all the keywords that describe the book, and then try them out loud by themselves and combined and such.

My current book started out as 'Noir', which I still love but is already taken. So, the current name is 'Martinis with the Devil'. We'll see if that sticks :) My book is urban fantasy and I worry it sounds too chic lit.

Ciara said...

Titles are always the most difficult part of writing a book. Why can we put down 40-90,000 words in a matter of months, yet take so long to come up with one or two for a title. Your title is awesome.

Suze said...

'Control' is superior to 'The Fountain.'

Suze likes. Very happy for you, my dear!

Botanist said...

It's great to settle on such a concise title that fits your story.

I find title sometimes easy (pop into my head) sometimes hard. Current WIP is Ghosts of Innocence. Not so concise as yours, but I like it.

vbtremper said...

Now I'm even more intrigued. How long do we have to wait to read Control?

-Vicki

Stephen Tremp said...

I like your title. All my titles are one word. Simplicity is the way to go I think. Best wishes to you as you continue to progress through your WIP!

Shelley Munro said...

Titles are the bane of my life! If a publisher doesn't like my title and I have to think of a new one it's agonizing!
I like Control. Good title.

Laura Pauling said...

No I don't always get it on the first try unless for some reason I come up with the title and cover image first. It's harder when the story is written to then come up with a title. Glad you found a great one!

bethchristopher.com said...

Congrats on the new title! Now I've got the Janet Jackson song in my head, of the same name. ;-)

I agree that titles are super tricky. My current MS was titled "Disappear" and now it's working title is "Wrectify." I like them both and would be VERY hard pressed to rename. But I would, of course. ;-)

Coleen Patrick said...

Control is a fab title Lydia!
My ms going off to edits is Come Back to Me, but I have a feeling that will change. :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

I love the title Control. Its simply awesome. I am one of the lucky ones because titles jump into my head very easily. Now if only the rest of the book would be so easy ;)

Karen Lange said...

Congrats on the title! It sounds like a winner; I like it. It's kind of mysterious with promise and, I don't know, just good
sounding stuff. :)

Since my WIP is a collaboration with another writer, I probably need to keep it under wraps for now. It's kind of lame in some ways we think, but we needed a title for our one sheet. I expect it will change - for the better! And yes, I've pictured it being like those you thought yours would be! lol

DL Hammons said...

I remember when you posted...or tweeted...or status updated about this earlier and I thought then....ewwwwwwwwwwww, that sounds intriguing! Can't wait!! :)

Wendy Lu said...

So glad that you've found a title that you are happy with! Sometimes a single, all-encompassing word does the trick. I'm terrible with titles...for my current writing assignment I can't think of a good enough title so it is temporarily called "The T-Project." I know, so silly!

By the way, I'm hosting an awesome blogfest and critique giveaway at my blog from June 22-24 if you're interested! :) Hope you have a great day.

~Wendy Lu

The Roarin' Twenties Poetry Blogfest + Chapter Critique Giveaway (hosted by The Red Angel)

Clara said...

Oh the battle of finding that oh-so-perfect title. I know your pain Lydia : )
And I hated the movie "The Fountain" and to be honest, I absolutely LOVED just "Control". It raises a bunch of ideas far more interesting than fountain. So, way to go : )

Jennifer Hillier said...

I LOVE your new title! Mind you, I liked the original one, too, but I do admit to having a preference for one-word titles. :D

My first book was untitled for the longest time, but then I found myself listening to a lot of Radiohead and writing a certain scene, and CREEP just fit. The second book went through about 6 title changes before I had one (MASTERMIND) that I personally liked. Agent and editor both hated it, said it was too masculine and sounded too much like a spy novel. I bounced a few more ideas their way (I'm terrible with titles, and character names, too, for that matter), and they liked FREAK best.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Nice name Lydia. I notice that single word titles are popular these days. It creates intrigue.

- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

Donna K. Weaver said...

Some come easier than others. One took me a year.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lydia - great word for so many things and at so many times - it'll be so interesting to read your book now it has such a succinct title ..

Delighted for you .. cheers Hilary

Susanna said...

Your blog is awesome, I like the style you write!! :)

xoxo
Susanna
http://susanna-behindmyeyes.blogspot.com

Rachel Morgan said...

I like the title CONTROL! I always find titles very difficult to come up with, and when I finally did arrive at something for my current series, it was also just simple, one-word titles.

Wry Girl said...

My previous WIP went from 'Out' to 'Damp'. My current WIP is 'Fear', but I'm playing with something like 'World Without: something something something'. :)

Sounds like CONTROL is a good fit for you! :D

Nas said...

Congratulations on the great title! CONTROL does seem eyecatching and interesting!

 
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