I’ve been mulling over a strong title for my current book. Being the very first thing that a reader, publisher or agent will see, it should be well constructed, not inept. I’m aiming for ept.
Creating one should be dead easy. Many titles are only one word and if I’ve managed to string 90,000 of them together, finding just one that encapsulates the concept should be a walkover.
Spectacularly, overwhelmingly wrong.
Other books in the same genre have made up names. Yet although Crailfanthorpe or Gerspllaat could be gripping, if confusing, they’d need to be woven into my manuscript. Bizarrely tricky, perchance. Disgusterous might be appealing but call to mind someone else’s work. That may not be bad, however. Possibly a Good Thing.
Some other stories might have not appealed as much if their moniker had been different. Mrs Weasley and the Goblet of Fire might not have had the same punch. Also a bit of a give away if JKR had chosen to kill off a main character early. But those titles seem very successful, so Luke Ponsenbury and the Thinker’s Crystal or Luke Ponsenbury and the Room of Hidden Things could be my answer.
Attractive artistic titles, like Butterfly Dreams or The Truth Yet to Come are too vague to give an idea of content. One could go for something snappier like Disaster! or a combination of both artistic and punchy like Wooosh!, Crash! or Kaboom! Still not much info, though. If I were to aim for something to more closely describe what is going on, I could end up with something like Towards Destiny with a Rodent. Or perhaps A Voyage of Self-Discovery. Snappied up: Self-Discovery Ahoy!
As the title is a large part of marketing, a punch between the eyes might work, like Buy This Book Instantly or Pick This One, It’s a Fast but Humorous Adventure Story or even Just Because You Haven’t Heard of me Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Write. Somehow the zing seems to have evaporated a teeny bit. Maybe marketing is trickier than it appears.
An existentialist title that is totally random but has to do with the moment might do: Charlie and the Vacuum Cleaner is totally my here and now. Blast. He’s switched off. My reality has morphed into The Totally Silent, but Clean, Hallway. Hang on, now it’s Boy seeks Biscuit. Might need to settle for Author Chases own Tail.
My other son suggested The Bear, the Wizard and the Laptop, which seemed to hold with Lewisian tradition. It also describes what to expect, or at least some of it. It could even be extended to allow more of a glimpse into the story: The Bear, the Wizard, the Laptop, two Kangaroos, a Labradoodle and a Chase Involving a Helicopter. OK, I admit it. I’m lying. No labradoodle. Nor a helicopter. Could be fun if there was though…thinks…
My adventure story centres on a couple’s presumed death and their son’s journey to find out the truth. Alex suggested the one which is a contender for my final choice:
Whoops! There Goes my Parents!