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The Trouble With Titles

POSTED ON September 22nd, 2010  - POSTED IN Writing

I… have… one… chapter… to… go.

So the end is near. Really near. A story I’ve been working on for years is just a single chapter away from completion – and not the novel’s final chapter, just one of those ones between the big set pieces that set things up.

I’ll talk more about the process in another blog post, but for this one I want to talk about titles. Well, I would… if I was any good at coming up with them.

I suck frankly! Come to a title, and all imagination and flair leaves me. Back when I did magazines I always used to amaze my editor by the way I would turn in a half-decent article, but really, really crappy titles.

This book was originally going to be called The Thieving King, which only took me about 5 years to come up with. But when the book split into two back at the beginning of the summer, it made sense that the title went with the second part.

Which means I am working on a book that has no title. And here’s me wanting to make some grandiose statement on my social networks when I get that final chapter done, and I don’t even know what the damned book is called.

I think it’s The ‘something’ Gatekeeper, although I’m not sure of the adjective just yet. I thought about “Death of a Wizard” or “The Wizard’s Notebook” but I thought one sounded too crime, the other too YA. Plus, I like the idea of the books having a similar format to their names. I’d still prefer the classic “The of the ” fantasy format and I think it would suit the style of the book very well, but that would mean finding a new name for book two.

I envy writers who know the name of their book before they even start writing it. I also envy those who ignore format so that every book title is unique. Heck, I envy anyone who is able to come up with decent titles for their work.

Cos my mind is blank… literally!