by Rebecca M. Douglass
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
The awesome co-hosts for the June 6 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, Tonja Drecker, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!
I thought that was how it would always be.
Boy, was I wrong (I'm good at being wrong).
To answer the question, titles are harder, because I can cheat with character names--when I'm stuck, especially for minor characters, I use a random name generator, hitting the "generate name" button over and over until I piece together something I like. My own inventions aren't always so good. An early reader pointed out that in the first draft of Death By Ice Cream I had an unusual number of characters with alliterative names. That got fixed. And I have trouble with names that suggest different ethnicities (without being cliches). Too bad I didn't realize until too late that "Brian" is a really bad name for an author who types faster than she should. Spell-checker won't tell me when I've changed the poor boy to "Brain"! That was left to a reader (thanks, Deirdre!). Still, there are ways to get help naming those characters who resist an easy naming.
But book titles... I have never been happy with the title on my middle-grade fantasy, Halitor the Hero (just sort of a statement of who the book is about. Surely I could do better). And I ended up holding a poll on my blog to pick the title Death By Ice Cream. I also check each title against the listings on Amazon, because I don't want to be one of a dozen books with the same title.*
I waffled about the title for my Tick Tock story, too. Should I use the whole adage, and call it "The Tide Waits for No Man"? Or was there a better option entirely? As with the "Death By..." series, I ended up appealing to others for help, and chose to go with "The Tide Waits." I realized after that it's a much better title, since it both evokes the adage and also suggests something lying in wait... much like the evil that drives the killers in these mysteries!
*On the other hand, I've made at least one sale of The Ninja Librarian to someone looking for the more widely-publicized Ninja Librarians--with an ess. I even got a good review from that person, which is how I know!
So tell us about your characters or titles--what was the best or worst you did?