Friday, 27 September 2013

Writing - Names and Titles

I was inspired to write today's blog after seeing the name of a person being interviewed on TV. It was triple barreled! D. Hughes-Hirst-Howe! There could be all sorts of reasons but it just struck me that this could be taken to a ridiculous length. 

There was a case a couple of weeks ago where a lady in the USA couldn't have her name, which was nothing other than a very long, single family name, in its entirety on her driving licence.

When I was teaching it was always a source of wonder - the names of the children - what parents saddled their children with. 

'Tarzan stop fighting in the playground' was often heard!

Then there were the handles that celebrities saddle their offspring with eg. Zowie Bowie!!

The Beckham's seemed extreme at one time with Brooklyn, Romeo etc but now we have 'Rainbow Aurora' and even 'North' - surname West! You can picture the scene in the classroom,

Teacher: Go to the head teacher's office.

North West: Where's that?

Teacher (somewhat exasperatedly): North West!

Us Writers invest in names all of the time. We name our characters and give the book or short story a name (title). So let's look at naming your book.

Your book. Its a part of you. Every word, every sentence, is a portion of your thought pattern, your insights, your soul. But naming a masterpiece isn't easy. Here's some steps to help you find the perfect title.

1. Check out your story outline. The title should reflect in some measure what your book is about.

2. Write a list of titles you think may be suitable. One thing I've found useful is to Google the title and see what comes up. It may be that you have to adjust in some measure if the title you like clashes with a recently released film, the name of a pop group or another author's title.

3. Check out best sellers lists and look at the format of current titles. 

4. Use good sources to find examples of titles that have worked for other authors.

5. A publisher may want to change your title so you may need to be flexible. Tolkein had entitled one of his trilogy War of the Ring but the publisher felt that Return of the King which the author settled for but felt that it related the story too clearly.

Whatever you decide on remember its your baby.

God Bless