Before I plunge into the current topic, I'd like to take a moment to bid one of our fellow bloggers adieu. Michelle a.k.a. The Surly Writer unfortunately is refraining from blogging (hopefully just for a while, not permanently). If you have not had the pleasure of reading her posts, enjoying her talent, drop by her blog and browse. I for one have enjoyed every moment getting to know her through her writings, and I am quite sad to hear she will be absent for some time. Don't stay away forever Michelle; we'll be here waiting for your momentous return.
Today I'd like to talk about titles. I'm talking about the moniker we hang on our stories. This is a sore subject for me, because I usually cringe when asked to come up with a title. I like titles that say just enough but not too much. A title can be compelling enough that you'll want to read the book without really knowing much about the storyline. A perfect example of this is 'Twilight'. It doesn't really give away that the book is about vampires. But as you read through the book, you understand why it was named that way. Another example is 'Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet'. The title is compelling, making you wonder what makes this hotel the centerpiece of the story.
Is it better to use one word titles or should it be a few words? I would argue there really is no "right" way to name your book. Sometimes, the title that jumped out at the author doesn't end up making it as the name of the book. What the author thinks it should be named may be different than what the editor or publisher thinks. I've heard of this type of thing anyway. For me, titles usually sneak up and scream at me when they are ready. In the case of one story I'm halfway through, I still have no title for it. The book I began (and am still editing/re-writing) had a title months before I ever wrote the first word. It still rings true as the right title for the book too.
How about your stories? How do you decide on a title? Is there a process you go through or does it just sneak up on you as the story progresses?