If You Like It Then You’d Betta Put a Title on It

Good Morning  Readers,

Welcome to the first of many posts on “How to Write a Book”.  I’m your host…or rather your writer, Patrice, and I am going to show you how its done.  Feedback is always welcome & if you would like me to cover a specific area or answer a question about the book writing process just post in the comments section below 🙂

Disclaimer:

My intention is not to seem like a writer who thinks that just by writing and/or publishing a book they now know everything…this is more of me sharing my experiences, trials/errors, from writing my first book while I am writing a new one.

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(imagine this baby is your book…no pressure)

Titles are extremely important.

Take the title of this post: By looking at this title you can figure out 1) This post has something to do with titles & their importance and 2) because of the pop culture reference it is probably written in a more relaxed style aka not a formal essay.

See how important a title is…by simply grouping together a bunch of words I have cleverly told you the key things you need to know.

Titling your book is no different.  I have heard many varying opinions on this some writers say that knew what the title would be from the moment they came up with the book idea, others didn’t know until after the editing process.  However I believe that it is crucial that you put a title on your book from the very beginning.

1. Titling your book in the beginning signifies that this is something real that you are serious about.

What I mean by that is when you begin to write a book, especially if it is your first book you are much more reluctant to tell other about it; I didn’t begin to tell people about BLOOD OF ISIS until I was finished.  However by having a title on “BOI” it became serious to me.  I was able to tell fellow writers, when asked what I was up to, not just that I was writing (no duh) but that I was writing a book [insert title here].  It also told myself that it was something I was serious about because you don’t go spending time titling something, making sure that title encompasses all that you want the reader to know (with a short glance alone) unless it means something to you.  My title was also on all of my various word documents so whenever I was about to open one, it was little a little voice was saying “hey, you’re writing a book, this is actually happening, you go get em girl, great job.”  (Yeah…that’s how I motivate myself)

2. Titling your book in the beginning gets your “creative juices flowing.” 

With BLOOD OF ISIS, I don’t even remember how I began it, all I know is that it started with a dream sequence (it was horrible & I threw it out but more on that later).  However with THE OTHERWORLDLY CHRONICLES*I began with an opening scene, that later became the prologue (I’m big on prologues, it’s an unfortunate addiction, no BOI does not have one).  It was beautiful, I am still in love with it and for a couple weeks while I was working on BOI, it sat on my computer unopened.  Then one day I opened it, I was so excited, I was finally getting to work on my new story…yep, you guessed it, I drew a blank.  First writer’s block and it was horrible, I think I might have had a Twitter breakdown, oops.

I had no idea what to do or how to solve the problem then the next day I looked at my new manuscript and at BOI and (other than the fact the BOI was “complete”) I noticed that my new MS had no title on it.  it’s actually quite funny because a title had been in my head for the past few day, something about “the otherworld”.  All I could think was…that is whack, what kind of title is that, what is that?  Until I happened upon Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld Series, a series I had seen in a bookstore years ago.  Then it hit me; my book would be called THE OTHERWORLDLY CHRONICLES.  And guess what???  As soon as I “put a title on it”, the juices began to flow 🙂

*Update: THE OTHERWORLDLY CHRONICLES is no longer a project of mine. The characters/themes/creatures of that WIP gave way to ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX (MG Sci-Fi Thriller, Complete at 47,000 words).

So…How do you title a book?

All you need to do is break down the essence of your story, even if you only have an idea, you know what your story is about…trust me, if you listen closely, you’ll find it.

One you’ve “found it”, walk away and come back to it a few hours later because once you’ve planted the idea in your head that you want to title your book, the writer inside of you will begin to think about that title even if you are doing something else.  When you get back to your story look at it and write down some of the first things that come to your mind.  With BLOOD OF ISIS it was obvious…the main character, Aziza, the is so important because she is descended from Isis.  However there are too many books out there with the words descendants or children of gods out there, so I thought of something different.  It is Isis’s blood running through Aziza’s veins that makes her the heir of Isis, in addition the necklace she wears, based on a real artifact, is called the Blood of Isis.

Take your time, don’t rush and please put a title on your book, it will help the writing process go smoother 🙂  Oh and one last point: remember this is a working title, meaning…especially if you are thinking of getting an agent, finding a traditional publisher etc…they likely have final decision over your title.  Even if you are planning on self-publishing, you still might need to change your title either at someone else’s suggestion or your own…so don’t get too attached 🙂

…Take it away, Beyoncé (Just make sure you replace the lyrics when appropriate) :

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

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