Writing is re-writing, and that includes book titles, the name of a book.
It’s been said that the title is the number one element of a book. If potential readers are grabbed by the title, they turn to the back cover, then open the book and read the first page.
Since ancient times, fathers have been careful about the names they give their children, knowing that it becomes their identity and will affect each child their whole life through.
So also do our titles reflect the perception others will have of our stories. Many books go through several title changes during the creation of the story. My current manuscript certainly did.
Because I thought the book was about false accusation (it is part of the story), and since the character, Danni Wagoner, was victimized, I began with the working title of Danni’s Story.
Danni was deceived by someone she thought was a friend, so the title changed to Deception.
Then a brainstorming session with an editor brought out that all my stories seemed to have a theme running through them of a woman’s dream. Hence the change to Violated Dreams.
Then as the story progressed we had a final title change to Through Fiery Trails, or so I thought.
Yes, I realize a publisher will likely change a title, but I expected this to be my last change while it was a working title.
While the story never changed, my understanding of it did. More brainstorming revealed I was focusing on the wrong character for lead. I must have known this at a deeper level, because my elevator pitch was not about Danni at all, but rather her Old Order German Baptist friend. This character had to choose between following the expectations for women born and raised in this group and the pull of her heart strings, knowing she was in a position to help her friend get to the bottom of . . . who-dun-it.
So that made the story Evalena’s Dilemma, or as we are now calling it, Through The Deep Waters.
I still like the earlier titles (except for the generic ones with the women’s names). But all is not lost, for they can be used on future books.
Q4U: How have you chosen the titles for your book(s)? Are they just an afterthought? Are you emotionally attached to the first one you gave the book, back when you first dreamed of the story?