If you're a dreamer, a wisher, a liar
A hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean buyer
If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin
Come in...come in...
~Shel Silverstein

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's In A Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."


How do you guys choose the title to your book? Does it just come to you? That's what happened in my first book. That one was about time travel. I'd just gotten done watching that movie, "Jumper" so I kept calling it "jumping" when my characters would travel through time.

I didn't like the tie-back to the movie though, so I decided to change it to "skipping" From there the title "Skipping Time" was easy enough. To this day, I love that title.

Unfortunately, I haven't had anything like that jump out at me this time. So far, I'm considering these titles:

The World Next Door

Against the Falling Moons

A World Away From Forever


Which one of those do you think you'd be the most compelled to pick up in a bookstore? If you want to know what the books about, you can scroll down to my Pitch Polish Blog hop entry, which is right below this. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this, but I'd appreciate any help I can get! The title is the first thing anyone sees, so getting it right seems pretty damn important. Thanks everyone!

Also, while I have your ear, (or actually eyes as the case would be) if you haven't voted yet, could you PLEASE head over to LUV YA for the kissing scene contest. I'm not allowed to tell you which entry is mine, but I made it to the top five, so I've got my fingers crossed that you'll pick me. :) First prize is a twenty page critique by an agent, so I'd pretty much die of happiness if I won. 

And before you leave, make sure you tell me about how you came up with your book title!

41 comments:

  1. I actually quite like 'Against the Falling Moons'. Though I've no idea how that ties into the plot.

    I seem to largely go for something that describes the MC: The Rogue King is about a Rogue who becomes king; Dark One's Mistress, the story follows the path of the dark one's mistress; Anubis' Handmaiden ... you get the picture; the duology (Witch of Morthin, Sorcerer of the Isles) is self-explanatory.
    And my short stories: Mapmaker is about a mapmaker, who they call mapmaker. And The Willow is (apparently) a chilling story about a willow.
    Then there are titles based on a species' name: Aelfah, Dragon (which does double as the MC is one too).
    Even the titles I chose as a theme for a trilogy: Golden Dawn (name), Crimson Night (time), Silver Moon (reference to a person).


    Whoo, that's a lot of text. But yes, my vote is for 'Against the Falling Moons'.

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    1. You actually have really cool names and I like the simplicity in choosing them. I especially love the names of your the trilogy!! Very visual. That's where "Against the Falling Moons" came from. The only really visual image I could think of that would tie into the story was the ThriceMoon, so I decided to go with that. I had a bunch of people tell me they really liked "The World Next Door" (not people on here, just on my facebook and friends and stuff) but I always thought it sounded a little generic.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and leaving your opinion. Very appreciated!!

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    2. Oh, well if moons of any sort are involved somewhere, then I'm ever more for 'Against the Falling Moons'. ^_^

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  2. I like Against the Falling Moons. I tend to go for short titles. Most of my books just have filler titles that I just stick with for lack of a better idea.

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    1. haha...That's exactly what "The World Next Door" was--a filler title. But then a bunch of people (not on here, on my facebook and friends of mine) really liked it. Personally, I still think it's a little generic, but I wanted to go with more than my opinion, cause I'm feeling undecided about the whole thing. Thanks for stopping by to help me out!!

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  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm so glad you got such good feedback on your query - I'm hoping I will too but with so many queries on Deana's blog I guess I'll have to wait and see.

    Out of your three titles, I think the last one seems to fit your book. If I could make one suggestion though, I'd probably change 'One' to 'A' to make it a little bit less of a mouthful. I'm super lucky that I have a friend that seems to have a knack for these things (at least I think so) so I've ended up with some titles that suit by books pretty well.

    Good luck querying! It's such a scary and exciting time!

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    1. Thanks for coming over Heather! I'd be happy to take a look at your query. Are you allowed to say what number it is? Let me know if you can and I'll make sure I check it out.

      I like the change from "One" to "A" That's the title now up in my choices, so thank you for that!

      Yeah, it is an exciting time. Very scary though. I don't think I'm emotionally prepared to get a million rejections. I know I shouldn't be in this business otherwise, but I've been through this once. My first book I got a couple partial requests and a couple fulls, but nothing panned out. Pretty crushing. My finger's are crossed that this one does better!

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    2. Yeah I don't suppose it matters if I say. It's #60. I think it's anonymous so people can't bully or show favouritism for people. It's all meant to be constructive so anonymity is the best way.

      And you can only be prepared as you go through it. I never thought I'd be able to handle rejection after rejection (the first ever one I got was on my 21st birthday) but I got through it. The fact you got a bunch of requests off your first round says you're clearly headed in the right direction. A lot of us never get that until the magic agent picks us up!

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    3. Hey Heather,

      Just wanted you to know I took a look at yours and my critique is on the site. :)

      I'm actually feeling much more prepared for querying today than I was yesterday. My critique partner got signed today by the Sheldon Fogeleman Literary Agency up in NY. I'm so crazy happy for her. And it gives me way more confidence to KNOW someone who is doing exactly what I'm doing and managed to actually land an agent out of the slush pile. How friggin awesome is that??? So, yeah--I think I'll be sending out some queries tomorrow. Plus, when my crit partner settles in a little with her agency, she said she'd recommend me to them, so my fingers are crossed. Even if she isn't able to help me at all, it doesn't matter. I'm just so thrilled for her. It's really nice to see someone with talent succeed.

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    4. Ha! It must have been that cheerleading side-bar ;P

      And I wanted to thank you SO MUCH for the effort you put it - it was amazing! It's always so inspiring to hear when you know gets to that next step. Amazing. I have all of my fingers crossed for you too (I tell you, it makes it hard to type) and hopefully it won't be long until you're announcing some awesome news of your own! Good luck!

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    6. Hi Heather,

      Haha...Not my partner on the sidebar. That's Lauren Spieller, who I met over a WriteOn and have been working with for about a month. It's one of my other partners. And yeah, it would be awesome to have some good news myself. I sent out my first two queries today. Fingers crossed! Talk to you soon. :)

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  4. Hi Tamara -- Against the Falling Moons definitely has the edge over the other two -- Moons is a clue about the genre, plus it's cool, lovely, and literary. I like the Against part even though it's a little harder to wrap your head around -- against as in backdrop, or against as in battle? Either way, I love it -- either great imagery or hint of conflict. Read your query and 150 too -- LOVE them. Great idea. Your MC's going to get all the girls swooning with his devotion to his love!

    Good luck!Thanks for the compliments on mine! :)

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    1. Thanks Jenn! Against the Falling Moons seems to be winning. :) Surprisingly, nobody has voted for the title some friends and family swore i should stick with. haha. I guess I had to ask other writers. I really appreciate you stopping by!!

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  5. hmm... heading over to crit your query now, but from what I've read, none of them really works for me. Although of the three, Against the Falling Moons sounds the most beautiful. Sad thing is, I don't see the relevance.

    All of my titles just occur to me, though, so I can't really help with a thought process. On the other hand, when I picked the name for Doorways (my MS), I used the following to figure out if it fit with what I was doing.

    1) Did it sound good?
    2) Did it suit a big theme or motif in the story? Literally and/or symbolically? Overtly or not?
    3) Is it of significance?
    4) Does it stand out?

    So Against the Falling Moons is a yes for 1) and 4), but since you've read your book, only you and maybe your CPs/betas will know 2) and 3).

    Hope I helped!

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    1. That was a great little checklist. And, Against the Falling Moons definitely suits a motif in the story. The idea of Seria having fallen, away from these moons, away from her world--so even though she landed on Earth, it kind of feels to her like she never stopped falling. (Which is stated at least once in the book)

      The book is told in dual POV, so we get her half of the story too, so I think I'll probably end up going with this. Thanks!! That was super helpful. :)

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  6. I really like the last title. I haven't read your premise but if it's YA I can already a picture a girl on the front with a mysterious secret. I'm terrible at titles. I picked Existence becasue it's about the world ending but it took me forever to come up with that name and now and I'm not even sure I love it. Titles are hard. I should have someone else pick mine for me :)

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    1. Thanks J A. I liked that one a lot too, although, so far--Against the Falling Moons seems to have it. I like Existence, but did you have anything else in mind? You could try doing something like this. Pick three or four and have other people see which one they think. :)

      Thanks for stopping by to help me out with this!

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  7. Against the Falling Moons is so beautiful, and if moons actually do "fall" then that's the one. Sometimes I,m stopped in my tracks if I can't come up with a title -- stupid. But other times the title comes first! I love all my titles...now if I could just get a polished manuscript at anytime, I'd be golden!

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    1. haha...I think this was the first time the manuscript came easier than the title. And the moons don't actually fall, but Seria does so, in her eyes, it looks like the moons are falling away from her. It's kind of a theme in the story--the idea of her having fallen so far from home. The books is told half in her POV, so I'm starting to get pretty attached to this title. :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  8. I like the second one best.
    The title of my first book came from the original thirty year-old manuscript and my publisher kept it. Had no idea for the second book so my publisher made some suggestions and we settled on a title. One of the other suggestions is now the working title for my third book.
    So no, I'm not very good at titles.

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    1. Thanks for the vote. It looks like the second one is almost unanimously the favorite. You're lucky you have a publisher to help you choose! :)

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  9. Hi Tamara. Thanks for coming to my blog and following. Yes, I did send something to Chimera long ago. Thank you for your critique back then. It was very helpful. I also remember Zellie and her passing. I think about her now and again. I have a copy of Lighting Spliced.
    It's good to see you around in the blogosphere!! I've followed your blog so I can keep up with you.
    My vote for the title is the second one. I think it sounds interesting.
    Later today, I will check out the link to the kissing scene. I hope all is well and I'm looking forward to more of your blog posts.
    Thanks,
    Christine

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    1. Thanks, Christine!

      I knew I recognized the name. And that's awesome that you have a copy of Zell's book. I actually put up this blog on the two year anniversary of her death. I was thinking about it and it just felt like it was time to get back out here and start trying to do some of the things Zellie and I wanted to do together. I made sure to leave my little chimera up as a nod to the old site.

      Thanks for your vote. The second title overwhelmingly won, so I guess I have a new title!! Yay! And I appreciate the follow. :) Nice seeing you again!

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  10. Hi, Tamara! Thanks for your review of my GUTGAA submission (#5). Against the Falling Moons provides a really beautiful visual, and from the comments above it sounds relevant. There's something to be said for The World Next Door. It plays on a common phrase and sets the reader up nicely for the twist (Earth is the parallel world? Love it!), but ultimately I think Against the Falling Moons will stand out most.

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for the vote. It's been really overwhelmingly for Against the Falling Moons, so I guess I have a winner! :) Glad I was able to help you out. Good luck with your story.

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  11. Hi Tamara,

    Thanks for commenting on my pitch (#7). Your pitch sounds good! But sometimes titles can drive us crazy. I think you've gotten some really good comments here so far. "Against the Falling Moons" seems to be the winner, though have you considered just "Falling Moons"? I also like Aldrea's idea of getting the MC's name in the title, especially if you are planning a series. It's hard for me to come up with a title not having read the book. How about "The Portal Home "?

    Don

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    1. Hi Don!,
      That's really funny that you suggested "The Portal Home" I was playing around with something really similar but, ultimately, I decided it put too much emphasis on the idea of a portal. The book really isn't about that. It's much more about the personal journey of the two MC's finding each other. The falling moons doesn't seem to do that either, (at first glance) but--since I know the story--it works well as a metaphor for the whole book. The idea of my MC falling away from these moons and so far away from where she belonged and then kind of living her life against the constant backdrop of that fall...That's what I like about the title. Obviously, nobody but me will get all of that from it, but it works just as a visual too, so it's all good.:) Sorry I just wrote you a book in my comment section. haha. Thanks for stopping by!!

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  12. Hey!
    Thanks for your comments on my Pitch Polish entry, I really appreciate your help. I have to agree with the previous comment. I like "Against the Falling Moons" the best, and feel like I can easily see cover art for that and imagine it sitting on a bookstore shelf, but I like "Falling Moons" just as well. I love your query by the way, You have very high stakes presented, and the concept is certainly different.

    Naming books for me is one of the hardest things about writing. Best of luck!

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    1. Thanks Meghan!
      That's my daughters name, spelled the same way. :) Your welcome for the comment. Thanks for the vote on the title. Against the Falling Moons has it by a landslide, so I'm pretty happy. Good luck to you too!

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  13. Hi, Tamara. I just posted a new version of my query (revision 2) to the comments of my GUTGAA entry, #5 (http://deanabarnhart.blogspot.com/2012/09/pitch-polish-5_10.html). If you have a minute, I would really appreciate your thoughts. Specifically, I swapped “reality-challenged” for “Cuckoo McQuackers.” Do you think this sacrifices voice or is it a good compromise? Thanks so much! :)

    I just voted in the Kiss-Off. I hope I chose wisely! Also, though I like "Falling Moons," I think "Against the Falling Moons" is worth the extra couple words. It gives such a strong visual of light vs. dark, but that's just me.

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    1. Yeah, I'll definitely head back over and take a look Jayme!

      So, now I'm super curious as to which one you voted for. If you see this, let me know. I still can't tell you if it's mine, but at least I'll know. haha. Thanks for helping me out with the title. It was overwhelmingly for Against the Falling Moons, so I guess I have a title. yay!

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    2. Hey Jayme,

      Just wanted to let you know I left a comment on your pitch. :)

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  14. I guess I never struggled with titles, now *words*, YES! :-)

    I really like the sound of the first two titles! And I love your blog title!

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    1. Thanks Christina,

      I've always been a big Shel Silverstein fan and the particular poem I used for the title fits a website about writing stories too well for me to resist. :) I'm gonna go for the second title, (Against the Falling Moons) cause the vote on that was almost unanimous.

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  15. Titles are tough! It took awhile of brainstorming for me. Thanks for the add!

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    1. Your welcome! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  16. Thanks for helping me with my GUTGAA pitch (#99). You asked me for feedback on your titles. I love Skipping Time and wonder if you could do a series thing with that--some rough brainstormy ideas: Skipping Lunch, Skipping Worlds, Skipping to the World Next Door, Skipping Next Door or Skipping Home.

    I like Skipping and I like series to kind tie in, but I may be way off base. I haven't read your story. All the best and thanks again.

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  17. haha...I guess I should've made it clearer in the post that Skipping Time was an older book I was working on. This one is totally new, nothing to do with that. I got a lot of votes on a title though, so I decided to go with Against the Falling Moons. :)

    And yeah, if I ever get Skipping Time published and get to write the sequels, I already know the titles of the next ones would be "Chasing Time" and then "Killing Time" I like a series to tie in to.

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  18. Hi, Tamara! I’m going to feel so awful if I chose incorrectly, but I went with #3. Obviously, they were all great, but something about that one just pulled me in. At least now you know whether to tell me to vote in the next round. ;)

    And thanks for the follow on Twitter!

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I love to hear from everyone! Thanks for the comment. :)