A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Titles and names

I'm sure you've all figured out by now that I'm a writer. Dare I say, an author (unpublished though I may be). One thing I've had other authors tell me is they have trouble with names. Character names and story titles, to be specific. I can understand the feeling, with titles at least. Names have always been a little easier for me.

I use baby naming sites and a random name generator for my character names. Sometimes I look for a specific meaning. Other times I look for a name that has the right sound and feel for the story I'm writing. I love collecting names and when I find one that I like, it goes on a list. Usually a list of characters in the story, but I'll save it for later. With Marked, I've changed my main character's name five times now. It's currently settled on Merete, but that may change again if I decide I need something else. But I like the name Merete, and plan (so far) on keeping it.

It's titles that I have issues with. Marked is the only one with a title set in semi-permeable stone. (It might change when I get it published.) Right now the rest of the stories I'm developing are named for the main character (Raghnall's story, Anila and Malakai, Caer's story) or they're named based on something key in the story (Psionics, Hackers, Fang Faces). I'll eventually come up with titles for all of them, and Raghnall, Anila and Malakai, and Caerbre do all have possible tentative titles though I'm not sure about them.

Titles have to come from a factor of the story, I think. Titles need to reflect what the book is about. It's a reader's first glimpse of what's inside, after the cover art. They're going to see the title and wonder what the book is about. Then they'll pick it up and read the back, or look at the sample chapters for e-books. It's what will draw them in and entice their curiosity.

There have been times where I've passed books by that had beautiful cover art but the title didn't impress me. If someone recommended them to me, I went back and read the cover copy or the sample chapters. But the title and cover art are what will push me to check to see what the book is about.

What about you? For all my author friends, do you have trouble with names and titles? Do you find yourself passing over a book if the title doesn't catch your attention?

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