Writing Books/Title.

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Question
I'm having a hard time finding a Title for my book. Do you have any advice on how to find one?

Answer
There are a lot of things to consider when naming your book.

Obviously, you want the title to be memorable.  To that end, shorter is usually (though not always) better.  

You probably want the title to have some bearing on what your book is about.  When it comes to fiction, though, that can be trickier.  After all, if you've written a non-fiction guide on how to make cheese, you're pretty limited in where you can go with your title.  But with a novel?  Almost anything goes.  So you might want to go for more of a feeling than a description.  

So...  memorable... evocative... preferably short... and having something to do with your subject, if possible.

Consider...

When Peter Benchley wrote his novel about sharks, did he name it something mundane like "Sharks"?  Nope.  He named it "Jaws."  Very short, intriguing... almost an innocuous word, but no one can hear that word anymore without thinking of a Great White.

Or look at the classic, "To Kill a Mockingbird."  The title gives you no idea whatsoever as to the subject of the book.  It's not particularly short.  But it's definitely memorable.

What I suggest for you, Hannah, is to look over your bookshelf.  Pick the books with titles that you think are particularly good.  Then ask yourself what makes the titles so good.  Then try to apply that reasoning to your own work, in order to wring a title out of it.

Good luck.

Writing Books

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Vincent M. Wales

Expertise

I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.

Experience

For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

Education/Credentials
BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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