Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Official...

We suck at titles. I've been doing nothing but brainstorming titles for the past week and I'm coming up completely lame. I keep thinking of titles that are already taken. Laura and I will be on the phone and we'll be really excited about a title and we'll plug it into Amazon and find out that it was on the bestseller list last year. Ouch.

We have one, possibility and a lot of really lame ideas. So tell me fellow writers, how do you come up with your titles? What's your secret? And yeah, if any of you have a brilliant idea for a title for our book, feel free to leave that in the comments too.

The good news is that we're cranking on the synopsis for Book 2 and already have a list of potential revisions for Book 1, so that's progress. Can't wait till we get the official revision notes from our agent. I'm itching to get started!


Alea said...

It's funny you should say that, I suck at headlines lol! Was sucking at it just yesterday actually. It's nice that you have amazon to check with! Good luck!

PurpleClover said...

I like to think I'm good at titles, but I'm not sure I could give you a great title with just the first 250 words. Normally I don't like to title something until my last paragraph has been written because the story changes until it's done...and then most times it's in the climax of the story that I find my title.

But based on the 250 words, if you plan to keep Grace's name Grace (you're right...lots of "Grace" titles) I think you can play off the name/word.

From Grace To Kate
Talking With Grace
Needing Grace
I Needed Grace
Amazing Grace ;)
With Grace On My Side
Helping Grace
To Kate, From Grace

I can almost guarantee your title will probably not have the name Grace by the time it's printed. ;) So if you leave it as Finding Grace I'm sure by the time the editor gets it, they will have a few suggestions. I believe that tends to happen often.

PurpleClover said...

Sorry just to add...if you want to find your title in the Climax, I usually find it just around the time of the MC's "realization" of the light bulb goes off or something is may just find your title there...could be in the description or it could be in the dialogue. ;)

Prairie Chicks Write Romance said...

Great advice from PurpleClover :) And I believe she's right about the editors making changes to the title - I've read "Never get emotionally attached to your title".

I rely on my readers - in fact, that's one of the questions I ask them when they're reading. "Hey, can you read this and tell me what you think? Does it make sense? Did I forget to answer any plot/subplot questions? Was I consistant in the names of my characters (since I change them occassionally)? Oh, and can you suggest a title when you're done? Thanks." It's amazing what you get - everyone has a different title suggestion.

Looking forward to reading your journey from agent to published :)


Kimberly Derting said...

I'm bad at it too. My title (The Body Finder) was just a placeholder so I could find it amongst my Word documents (it was what my MC could *do*, not a title). But when I submitted the book to my agent I used it as a working title because I didn't have anything else yet. And then before I knew it, the publisher had it, working title and all, and they never changed it. I kept asking if they wanted me to come up with something else, but they said sales and marketing liked it, so it stuck.

Naming book two was like torture. I had a name that I loved, that my agent loved, and even my editor, only to find out later that there was a book coming out the same season that was "similar" sounding by a more established author. I was crushed! And the new title...well, lets just say, it's growing on me.

Good luck on the name quest. I would offer suggestions but they would be pathetic and cheesy! Btw, I loved the first page postings you did yesterday...I'm hooked already!

Sara Raasch said...

Did you try taking the title from a line in your book? Sometimes you can get a really snappy title that way. Like "And Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers," or any of the Georgia Nicolson books.

lisa and laura said...

You guys are the best! I'm currently reading the climax of our book, searching for the perfect title.

Alea - I always really like your headlines - hence my stalking of your blog!

PC - I really like To Kate, From Grace. The only thing is that it reminds me of the title for that movie with Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini. Wasn't that called To Justin from Kelly or something? Am I the only loser that remembers this kind of stuff? Yes, probably.

Janet - I'm definitely going to go back and ask our readers about title suggestions. And really good advice about not getting emotionally attached to titles...sadly, not an issue for us because we can't even come up with anything worth getting attached to!

Kimberly - Isn't it just crushing when you find a title that really works only to google and find out that someone more famous than you has already stolen it? Bastards! Can't wait to hear the title of book 2...and can't wait to read book 1! Please tell me you'll be doing some ARC giveaways on your blog??? Pretty please?

Sara - I've already picked some phrases out that might work. Thank you!!

You guys are seriously the best! I was starting to feel sucky about our title angst, but this totally cheers me up. Thank you!

Alea said...

Ha! You should see the ones I do at work for ads and stuff, so bad!

Elana Johnson said...

Hmm...will devote some stewage to this.

Little Ms J said...

I was so torn about titling my manuscript that it was titled "Untitled" until I got three-quarters in and then it smacked me upside the head. It was The Point - the realization of something that changed my path. It was taken from dialogue between myself and an antagonist.

I agree that the title comes to you when you're in the thick of it. I'm sure you guys will come up with something fantastic!

By the way, I saw your comments on Christy's blog. How about LiVer? No? Lurple? J-Clo instead of J-Lo? You notice I put my initials first! I'm oldest! :-) Ha. Call us whatever you like!!

Katie Anderson said...

well I got ready to comment but then saw the word verification word which is, "anexual" and I started giggling 'cuz anexual? how bizarre? And y'all make me laugh already. so now I can't leave you my brilliant title idea....

Just kiddin'! I don't have a title idea. I'd need to know more about the book :-)

But good luck!
And JJ, I love J-Clo - haha

Now I must type in "anexual" so this ramble will post.

PurpleClover said...

Ooh. I like J-Clo a lot better than Purple J I must say!

By the way, when are we going to get a title update?? Will we have to wait years and see it on the shelf or will you share????????

Just so you know my manuscript is untitled so I reference it as "Jump" (I hate leaving something untitled but I hate the title "Jump" even more!). I can't wait to get to the climax so I can name it! It'll be fun!

lisa and laura said...

J-Clo is where it's at. I love it. Sounds fabulous, which suits you two. It's official.

As for a title update, we'll definitely post one when we have it.

We really like Chosen, but it's been used, A LOT. Plus I feel like it's a little too supernatural for the book. Ugh..still thinking. I think we'll know it once we've found it, but so far...

LMJ - I'm the oldest too, which is why MY name goes first on everything. Suck it Laura! Ha. I love being the bossy older sister.

Purple - I sort of like the name Jump! It's fun. Our working title for this book was Gmail and I still call it that most of the time. Funny how sometimes those names stick.

Katie - Have you bought like 100 copies of your magazine yet? I'd seriously be stocking up and those bad boys. Just too fab.

Ok, off to get beautified - cut and color - can't go to NYC with roots.

Sara Raasch said...

I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but I was telling my mom about your book (a "sexier Nancy Drew,"), and thought of "The Case of the Missing Grace." It's kind of along the lines of Nancy Drew/Mystery books ("The Case of the...") and it has the rhyme-thing going on. Just thought I'd suggest it.

Hardygirl said...

Okay, so my word is "uneral" (some sort of creepy combo of funeral, venereal, unreal and urinal), and I can't craft a title to save my life.

Wait for the smack on the head. It'll come--or just randomly open the pages of your book and point to a phrase and use that as your title.


Anonymous said...

Ah, titles. I suck at them too. And it's especially hard, because they're so subjective. Some agents hated my title, and others loved it. One agent said it was too "weedy" whatever that means!

lisa and laura said...

Sara - That might be fun! We were kicking ideas like that around back before we started querying, but your mom's suggestion is much better than anything we came up with.

SF - I'm really hoping we're hit by something soon..

Becca - Catherine called the title FINDING GRACE "wet." Laura and I had a good laugh over that...we weren't sure exactly what it meant, but we were pretty sure it wasn't good.

Anonymous said...

what about just Missing Grace

Dave King said...

You and me both: I am hopeless at titles. Let me know if you come across the secret. Great blog, by the way.

lisa and laura said...

Anon - That's not bed either! Although I think Catherine might be averse to having Grace in the title. We'll have to check with her on that one.

Dave - Welcome! So glad to hear that we're not the only ones suffering from title suckitude. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Email Goast!


Lisa said...

Thanks Melissa! It might be a good idea to somehow reference the e-mails. Ugh, this is so hard!

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