Sunday, February 6, 2011


I finished the heavy revisions on Zane two weeks ago, and then put it aside and let it sit so I could get some distance from it. Today I read the book first to last page and was surprised at how well the manuscript held up.  The plot is there, the characters, the conflict. It read fast paced, emotional and held my interest. I do plan on layering just a touch more of my heroine’s interior conflict, since that seemed a bit thin to me. Plus, I still want to do one last pass for polishing and thinning, however, the book is very close to being done and ready for submissions.
My query is finished, and from the feedback I got through the Great Expectations contest—very, very strong. All three judges mentioned that they thought it had everything it needed and was perfect the way it written, so no work left to do there. My synopsis is finished too, although I still need to do some smoothing and polishing.  
Another two weeks and I’ll be ready to send Zane out into the hard, cold publishing world.
And that, unfortunately, is my current problem. I am ready to submit. But I have no title. Or at least no *good* title. I’ve been calling the books Zane’s War- but I really don’t like it. I want something snappy, something snazzy, something that will catch agent and editor attention.
So I’ve been brainstorming titles, goggling combinations of words in regard to songs, in the hope something catchy might jump out at me. But nothing has to date. And I’m running out of time.
So I’m curious how the rest of you find your titles, do you have any tricks- any places you go that you find strong titles. I could really use some help here, because I only have two weeks to come up with something better than Zane’s War.
Any ideas? Suggestions?


Duckie said...

For me, sometimes I come with a title first and then base a story around that. Sometimes it's names after the main character, and others it's about the theme of the book. I changed my last MS' title. Initially I had named just to give the folder a name, but I knew it was a working title. Then one day before I was falling asleep it hit me. Using your favourite line from the story (like a song) can work too.
Good luck with the submission!

Edie Ramer said...

Wow, you went through your ms. fast! I'm such a tweaker, I'm on my 4th day of revision, and should finish tonight. I have 60 pages to go.

I like to have the right title and the right character names early on. Sometimes the title doesn't work, and it niggles. I think you know when it's "right."

You've asked your CPs, already, I'm guessing. Good luck sending it out!

Trish said...


I'd never thought of pulling a favorite line out of the book and using that for a title. What a great suggestion!

Trish said...

Edie, this first pass was a read through only. I printed it off, sat down and just read it through, without stopping to think. Or make notes. Or tinker. I just wanted a readers sense of the books strengths and weaknesses with out getting distracted by my editor's hat.

I'm going to read it through for a second time today and make notes on the hard copy. But the actual tinkering won't start until I'm finished with this second pass and open the word file. At which point the work will slow to a crawl and much tinkering will begin.

As for my CPs and titles. They are all as bad as I am. LOL In fact I am under strict orders to let them know if something is mentioned that works!

Sheri Fredricks said...

I used a constant thread that appeared throughout my ms to name it. Kind of what Duckie said. It could be a descriptive line (On a Wild Night- Stephanie Laurens), a visual (Loose & Easy- Tara Janzen), or maybe a course of action (The Wedding Gamble- Julia Justiss). I believe in keeping titles short and sweet. Good luck Trish! You'll come up with something GREAT.

Brenda said...

Titles can be hard. The thing I try to do is make sure the title represents what the story is about, or about a character and their main goal. When I need to come up with a title I sit and think about my story and list a few possible titles, then I pick from them. For instance, a short story I had written about zombies I simply chose the name of the virus that caused the outbreak. For Love's Prophecy the backbone is about a prophecy so I knew I needed to have that, but then I thought about what my hero achieved at the end, which was love. Another short I had written was a bout a man who was an alcoholic, but he completely denied it. So the title was The Art Of Denial.
LOL, sorry I'm no real help. Again, coming up with the right title is hard. Good luck, and please let me know when you do come up with a title!

Jenna Jaxon said...

I had a terrible time coming ups with a title fro Scandal. I ended up just sitting down with pen and paper and brainstorming everything that was important in the story. The main event is a scandal so I started playing around with that. Other titles have just come automatically--song titles, phrases from the book, wordplays on other works, ie War of Zane's Worlds (bad example, but you get the picture). Good luck.

Zee Monodee said...

I agree with Brenda - I find an element/aspect of the story that is pivotal/thematic and use this to come up with the title.

Trish said...

Brenda and Zee,

That's what I ended up doing for Zane, to come up with a workable title. I sat down and worked out the theme in my mind, and realized the theme is all about bonds. The bonds holding people together. Bonds of love and respect and commitment. Not just among the main couple-- but between the different people. Like the guys from Team. Like the married couples.

Even the villain. Once I knew the theme the titles became much strong. I really liked several of the titles Carey came up with, too.

Trish said...


I got sidetracked by the word *dream* since that was what started the whole premise. ONce I forced myself away from that thread- things really started opening for me.

Trish said...

Thanks Jenna,

I'd tried brainstorming with a pen and pencil a couple of times. But nothing hit the page. LOL