Amidst my very annoying day I had a light bulb go off! Do you ever stare at a word search and think, all the letters are here, why isn’t the answer jumping out at me?
I have been doing that in regards to my main series. I’ve had working titles for this series for the long time, and now that I’m into book three I’ve begun looking at the way titles for books flow. I’ve been scouring Goodreads to figure out what kinds of book titles I like and which ones I don’t.
So far, this is what I’ve come up with.
1) I detest one word titles. With a passion. Calling a book BETRAYAL is basically like saying STOP! It’s a giant red light for me. Provided plenty of the books on my TBR list are one word titles, they also have series titles on the covers too, and some I can live with some I can’t.
Some Examples of stuff I’m cool with:
Nightshade / Wolfsbane
Delirium / Pandemonium
Some Examples of stuff that’s too vague:
Shiver / Linger / Forever
Halo / Hades
2) I detest it when the title of the first book becomes the series title. This is like my BIGGEST pet peeve. I might not have any say in the long run, but if it can be avoided, it would be appreciated. I find this to be the most tacky thing to do in books these days.
Some Examples of ones I’m talking about:
The Hunger Games
3) I dislike titles for books in a series that don’t match at all.
The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay
White Cat / Red Glove (They sound random)
A Great and Terrible Beauty / Rebel Angels / The Sweet Far Thing
Graceling / Fire
4) I’m not a fan of epic fantasy titles.
In the Hand of the Goddess
Sword of Tears
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Golden Compass
Now these are just some examples of title formulas I don’t think are going to work for my WIP. I’ve actually read most of the books I’ve mentioned, and have liked most of them too. This isn’t about liking the contents of the book it’s about liking the titles. What I like about titles is below.
1) I like series have that real series names. This is where Shiver gets a big hoorah for also being “The Wolves of Mercy Falls” that’s awesome! Anyway, I’m a fan of series with series titles.
The Mortal Instruments
The Caster Chronicles
The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Eagleton Coven Series
2) I really like short but sweet book titles that drive the point home and can be shortened into acronyms. Call me crazy but that just appeals to me.
City of Bones / City of Ashes / City of Glass / City of Fallen Angels
HP and the Philosopher’s Stone / Chamber of Secrets / Prizoner of Azkaban / Goblet of Fire
The Forest of Hands and Teeth / The Dead-Tossed Waves / The Dark and Hollow Places
Beautiful Creatures / Beautiful Darkness / Beautiful Chaos
When it came to my own WIP I more or less looked at it like a giant puzzle and went through A LOT of crap in my head. It wasn’t so much just one title for the first book, but a series of titles that could fit and work with each book.
So here’s what I had originally for my book:
The Watcher and The Flame Series
Then I realized that I was misusing the Watcher archetype, somewhere in the story my Watcher became a Ferryman. I wasn’t aware of that in the first draft. So I changed the title to look like this.
The Ferryman and The Flame Series
That still wasn’t good enough and so I tried this:
The Ferryman and The Flame
Bloom the Weed
Ten Thousand Years
Bring the Storm
That didn’t work either, so I tried again.
The Ferryman and The Flame
Once again, it still didn’t feel right! It was like I was missing something here that was right in front of my face. And then tonight it hit me!
Flame of Surrender
Flame of Justice
Flame of the Apocalypse
I’m done, that’s the names of the WIPs for good. I’m currently writing Flame of the Apocalypse, the first two books are finished and going through Beta Readers.
What about you? How did you come up with the titles of your WIPs?