Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Five Things Not to Title Your Novel


As promised on Monday, I’m back with a more realistic post.

All right, it’s realistic, but it’s still more on the light-hearted side. The categories are serious. The explanations…I had a little fun with those.

Here goes.

Five Things Not to Title Your Novel

The old adage reads “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Should be true, but I know I do occasionally, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one. So here’s my two cents and five categories of titles not to give your work in progress.

-Anything in the style of “The (insert profession) (insert family member status)

In all seriousness, there’s an abundance of “So-and-so’s daughter/son” novels out there. The trend has been done to death. So unless you're going to entitle your book “The Pumpkin Carver’s Third Cousin Twice Removed on his Father’s Side,” don’t bother.

-A catchy single word

I’m talking about a word like “Dreams.” While it may sum up the book, there’s a ton of books out there with the single word “Dreams” as their title. Not the best way to stand out, in my opinion. (NOTE: This principle also applies when “a/an” or “the” is placed before the single catchy word.)

-The (insert type here) Night/Day

Like the family member category above, these titles are overused. Insert day or night into the thesaurus. It will help your book stand out if it says “The Brightest Diurn.”

-Vampire anything

K, this might just be my dislike of all things sexy vampire. See my rant here. But in all seriousness, “Vampire Hunter/School/Night/etc.” are getting old.

-Something that’s completely unrelated to the book’s contents

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe how many books I’ve finished only to think “That title had nothing to do with anything.”

Thank you for reading, and I’d like to invite you back for next Wednesday’s post. It’s going to be all about that urban fantasy I’ve written.

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