A Rose by Any Other Name…

I have to change the title of my forthcoming YA. It was called LUCKY. I like short pithy titles. My latest completed WIP is called FIERCE. See the trend? Unfortunately there are other books out called LUCKY. There’s a memoir by Alice Sebold. There’s a YA. There are endless clever variations on luck, lucky, unlucky. I liked it because it was the nickname of my MC who is soooo not lucky. It was ironic. I love irony. So anyway, in a month I am going to be getting my editorial letter and will begin revision. But in the meantime I have to come up with a great new title. *thinks* *exhales through nose* *thinks harder* *ruptures something* Shoot! The only thing I am sure of is that I will know it when I think of the ONE. As much as I know that the list of possibles I’ve just written down is terrible. Words drift across my brain and they all sound stupid. My agent is also working on this. He’s a clever man and he used to work in Hollywood so he knows all about zingers. My wonderful Scholastic editor is thinking too but she has much to think about. And this should be my job. My book. My baby. In fact, much like naming a child this requires careful consideration. Sure it seemed funny when I was 8 months pregnant and the husband and I decided to name our son Paris Texas Parris. Or Oolala Gay Parris if the baby was a girl. But the thing is after a few months the joke wears thin. Usually the title is one of the first things I think of when I begin a new manuscript. It helps me envision a book. It gives me something to grab onto when I only have a handful of pages down or a bunch of notes. I do an Amazon and Google search and if it comes up clear then I stick with it. Except for sometimes the story grows away from the title and then it doesn’t fit anymore. Do you write with a title in mind? Or do you just call it working manuscript # 6 and worry about something more formal once you’re done?

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6 Responses to A Rose by Any Other Name…

  1. Cat Clarke says:

    Gah! Trying to come up with titles drives me CRAZY. My editor eventually came up with mine, which makes me feel like a huge failure.

    Good luck though! You'll get there… eventually.

  2. I can't write unless I have at least a working title. However, the first and only working title that I've come up with that I've been allowed to keep all the way through sale and publication has been RAMPANT.

  3. Jo Treggiari says:

    Cat, I know. My editor is brainstorming but I really feel I need to get in there with something brilliant first. Wow her so she thinks I am a professional and loves me. (Umm, sorry a little neediness crept in).
    Diana, weird how that works isn't it? It's like naming it turns it into a potential book or something.

  4. Donna Hosie says:

    Good luck with coming up with a new title.

    I just let the name of a WIP come to me. It's not something I sweat over. Most of the time the words simply pop into my head around the 40,000 word mark. The only exception in my current YA title which arrived before the story!

  5. Jo Treggiari says:

    I wouldn't be sweating over it but my editor would like me to tell her something in a couple of weeks. I had such a great title and now it has fallen by the wayside and nothing else as good is occurring to me.
    Alas!

  6. Yeah, titles can be really tricky. My third book started life as 'West of the Moon,' but the publisher didn't like that, so then it was just known as 'Troll 3' throughout most of the writing period, and metamorphosed into 'Troll Blood' at the end. Still uncertain if that did it any favours, though.
    Good luck with yours!