Choosing a Name?

Hi Jim, 

I was hoping you could help me out. I’m trying to choose a name for my novel, but I can’t seem to figure out a good one. Every one I choose doesn’t really sum up anything about the story or seem to stick. Do you have any advice for choosing a title?

Thanks,
Aubri


Hi Aubri,

I do indeed. The best way I’ve found to choose a title is to choose something that really sticks out in the story. Pick one central focal point and then choose a word that adequately describes that theme. I’ll give you a few examples from my own work…

divinity9

I have to admit, this one was fairly easy for me. The whole book centers around the loss of an angel’s divinity and what effect it has on her and the people around her. Divinity was the obvious choice for the title. So let’s move onto something a little more complicated, shall we?

Drakin-Cover-Poster-Final

The series title: Drakin was a lot more difficult. What am I going to name a post-apocalyptic story about dragons falling from the heavens and waging a war of total annihilation of all of mankind? What do I name something where the focal point of the story is an accidental abomination of both dragon and human origin that had a score to settle with dragonkind?

Dragonheart? Taken.
Dragonrein? Taken.
Reign of Fire? Taken.

To figure out the title, I needed to reread the story. My eyes caught one specific word that was mentioned throughout; ‘Drakin’. In the ancient language of the drakeas (the proper name of the dragon species), drakin is their word for relative. It’s an unspecific term for ‘relative’. The dragons refer to Raiya as such because, while she isn’t a dragon herself, she is related to them in some way.
I came up with the word as a way to say ‘dragon-kin’ in a made up language.

The subtitle was actually easier. The story is about Raiya and her quest for vengeance. However, the Orphans of Haven was slightly more difficult. I started the story with a working title of ‘Qira’s Tears’, but I didn’t care for it very much. So I looked more into the story. Basically, the main mission of the characters is to save the west from restarting the war against the dragons. However, their more focused goal was to keep a special place called ‘Haven’ safe. Haven is a shelter for orphans from the previous war. Not only that, but Qira and Radley are also orphans of the war who wind up living there when they abandon their old lives.
So you could argue that the title may be describing the people that Qira and Radley are trying to protect, or you could interpret it as describing Qira and Radley themselves. I thought it was kind of a moderately clever idea so I went with it.

My only advice is to make it something that will stick out and no more than a few words. Try not to go with anything too basic or your book will get lost among several others.

I hope this helps, but let’s open it up to the readers and see if they have any thoughts or advice. As always, feel free to reach out to me again if you need any further advice!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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4 thoughts on “Choosing a Name?

  1. Laura Beth says:

    Great advice. Titles are hard. All of my WIPs, except for my most recent one, have tentative titles. For my 2018 WIP, I knew the title before I started writing. It’s so fitting for the story. As for my other ones, I like Jim’s advice of going back and re-reading through the story.

    Like

    • StCyril says:

      Right… I never had a ton of problem with the title after a re-read, however I absolutely DREAD writing the cover blurbs! That takes as long as editing the damn book!

      Like

  2. Tomas says:

    Finding the right title isn’t easy as it needs to point out the whole book in just a few words. I started working on my current project back in Summer 2015 and it stayed under the working name “Project Eternity” for almost three years.
    The first actual ‘title’ was “Order of the Eternal Defenders” after the main faction but it’s way too long so I am currently going with just “Eternal Defenders”. It may still change before I finish it but I am not expecting that to happen.

    Like

  3. Sidstark says:

    The title for a story should technically describe the story without actually explaining it . The word shouldn’t be used as much in the story, at least that’s what I think , maybe I’m not that experienced.

    Like

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