How do you know what to title your novel or piece of work? I've been writing a book for years...
and I think perhaps I'm too close to the work to name it... drawing a blank! Help!!
It's hard to say without knowing who your audience is but I would say what stands out in the piece or what do you want your readers to expect going into the work. Like is it a subject book, like Moby Dick straight and to the point, or is it a feeling you want to convey like, Little Boy Lost. Very dramatic and telling of what the book may be about. In any case, good luck hope I get a chance to read it someday.
Hmm, well, I'm planning on making it a series which also changes things. It's a fantasy / sci-fi / drama and I think I'm going for a young adult audience. I don't want it to be too straight to the point or obvious, so I've already vetoed using my main character's name... nothing seems to fit the story!
Obviously you want to find a title that fits the story, though a name might not begin to materialize until the story is finished. That said, remember that after the book is published you will also be concerned with marketing, and for this it is important to do some research to make sure that you don't pick a title too similar to any existing books. Some keyword research may also help, allowing you to pick a title which integrates popular search terms into the title...possibly not the first thing people think about when trying to name their book, but the few people I know who have done this prior to publication have had excellent results by tying into something that was already heavily searched for, and sites like Amazon and other large booksellers rank high in the search engines.
I struggled for a long time on naming a book manuscript of mine about a group of teenagers in a high school TV production class who have to outwit the principle and a gang of bullies during the last five days of the school year. Nothing with the words "high school" in it seemed to work for me. The character's name didn't work as a title. I couldn't seem to work the TV studio aspect into the title because the story was about so much more. Finally I came upon using the nickname that the bully calls the main character, "KaBlunder" (a manipulation of the character's last name) for the title and it fit perfect. Many writer's seem to take a little quote or some small but significant event in their book to use as a title. Perhaps this would work for a series as well, especially if you have an idea of what the next couple of books are going to be about.
I'd advise you to go with whatever your heart tells you. One day there will be a sign and you'll think that that's it...that's the name...but doubt and marketing ploys will set in and you will begin to go against your heart.
Always listen to what your heart tells you in these instances and try to make your brain take a back seat. Once your heart has decided on a title then you will know.
And even if your title is totally ridiculous you must stick to that as your heart never lies.
I would go with something short and catchy. I always titles like Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" which is both a point on the compass, but also indicates that the hero flies to the north on Northwest airlines. Another title comes to mind..."Ender's Game" which is both about the military game that Ender is playing during his space academy training, but it also brings the war with the "Buggers" to an end.
First write your book or novel and find a good title for the book or novel on what you are writing about. If you are writing a historical Novel and it is based on actual historical characters centered it around that. If you are writing a romance novel and a novel about love find a suitable title about love and romance.
Think of using a different language for the title.
I am using some French in my story because I am learning a new lauguage.
Book titles have always come very easily to me. I have often had THE TITLE before the manuscript! Your first idea, the thoughts that inspired you to write in the first place may help you with a title. Don't be hung up on the title ~ you can give yourself a "working title" to start. Editors often change book titles anyway, so don't worry about that "one line" ~ it is the story that matters, not what you "name" it.
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