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Working titles

I always loved the phrase "working title." It reminds me of "working mom" except I consider that phrase redundant. "Mom" and "work" are synonyms. All moms work; only some moms get paid.

But back to titles. Working title suggests that some titles work and others don't, which is certainly true. I've been known to say that writing a book is a bear, but coming up with a good title for it is a grizzly bear. I still stand by that. I've written a number of books but have been truly happy with the titles for very few of them. Oddly enough, one of the few I liked was for my fantasy novel, which I titled Bag of Tricks and my agent retitled The Talisman Bag. She said it sounded more like a fantasy novel, and she is the pro so we went with that. (But if anyone is listening out there in the blogoshpere, please weigh in and post a comment on which title you prefer. Anonymous posting is allowed)

While I was browsing the web, looking for distraction from the grimness of the front page news today, I tripped over this post from a blogger delkytlar who's got some good advice about titles for writers.

http://delkytlar.livejournal.com/16579.html

I had always heard that publishers liked to change titles, but I had never considered the negative implications of submitting a novel as "Untitled." Good to know!


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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
stephdray
Apr. 18th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
Hmmm. That's tough.

I think your title is clever, smarter than the one the agent chose.

But if I had to think about which book I'd pick off the shelf on title alone, I'd pick her title.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 18th, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
What an incredibly diplomatic comment! Thank you!
stephdray
Apr. 18th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
Hah! I'm not known for being diplomatic!

I just know that when I'm book shopping, I tend to look for more serious titles... I don't know why!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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