"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Title Change

So I'm nearly done with the first draft of my WIP. And the whole time I've been working on it, the title has been up at the top of the page bugging me.
I loved it, actually, so that wasn't it. It's just that there were two words in it 99% of the population on Earth would never have heard of.

I knew it would have to change. But it was just so perfect. Sigh.

So today it came to me. A nice, new title. One that conveys the message of the book way better. One that everyone on Earth will understand. I think these are both good things. So I changed it. Now I have a nice simple title. One I could tell people (not that I'm ready to do that yet) and they wouldn't screw up their faces and say, "What does that mean?" or "Is that English?"

They say a title can make or break a book. Sol Stein has a great section about this very thing in Stein on Writing (which BTW is a great book if you're looking for a new one to read. Or even if you want to reread one you've already read.)

What's your favorite book title?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The first title that popped in my head "And Then There Were None," by Agatha Christie.
N

PJ Hoover said...

Great example, N, because wasn't this originally released as "Ten Little Indians"?

Kaleb said...

Stein on Writing! I see you're in Austin. If you got it at the library, you probably checked out the same copy I did about 100 times before I moved :) It's easily one of the 5 best books for writers I've found.

And title changes- I had the same title for four years and when my agent sold it, one of the first things I told my editor was 'I know you just bought it, but how about this slight title change?' luckily he liked it. :D

good luck with the WIP

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Kaleb! Welcome! Austin rocks :) You should move back.

I actually did the audiobook thing for Stein on Writing. Ever read "How to grow a novel" by Sol Stein? It may be next on my list.

carla said...

love that book...even though Im not writing enough these days.

C.

PJ Hoover said...

You are writing tons, Mizfit!

HipWriterMama said...

Of course I'm curious what those two words are that 99% of the population on Earth would never have heard of.

Jim D said...

Okay, what I'm currious about is the new title.

Can we start guessing? I do have a guess for the sequel of the book I'm currently familiar with, but I'm not sure what your WIP is.

I always love a good guessing game.

Jim D

PJ Hoover said...

OK, critique group :) I'll email you guys via the group. But if you want to guess first, I'd love to hear the fun!

Anonymous said...

So those of us not in the critique group don't get to find out the two words? Not fair!
N

PJ Hoover said...

Oh, but I'd tell you, N! Aren't we supposed to get together sometime soon anyway?

Sheri said...

My Sister's Keeper
Horse Whisperer
The Giver
Walk Two Moons

That's all I can think of today...

PJ Hoover said...

The Horse Whisperer is a great one!
Thanks, Sheri :)

Kaleb said...

How To Grow A Novel is on my top 5 best books for writers list. One of the best!

PJ Hoover said...

Then I will order it right now!