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  • October 2nd, 2007 | 7:10 AM
a question about titles

I'm a title kind of gal. You know the type, the one who can't start writing a book until they have the title. And I mean it, really, I can't skip this step. Without the title the book just flops around in my brain like the proverbial fish out of water. And I've been really lucky thus far in that none of my titles have been changed. So I get attached to them. 

So here's the thing. I have this title. It feels pretty darn good for the new WIP. It is also the MC's name but it speaks a lot about the story. It feels right.


But there's another book out there with the same one word title. And that book is more of a YA romance/chick lit sort of thing. And mine is not.

So would you use the the title or not?

(Tags: )
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 25 comments — Leave comment )
(Deleted comment)
October 3rd, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in. Good points. Alas, after posting this and thinking about it all day I am probably not going to use it. But it has been a good idea to think about.
October 2nd, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
This is a tough call, but I think I would use it. There are several cases of books with the same or similar titles. If it's a real problem, won't that be your publisher's call, anyway? Meantime, if using the title makes it possible for you to write the story, then absolutely go with it. I'm always going to vote in favor of the option that gets you (general "you", or maybe I should say "us") working!
October 3rd, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
I know, I should just think of it motivation for me to write but I've always managed to have titles that stick. But it could also be the Universe's way of telling me that I need a stronger title. :-)
October 2nd, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
Use it. It'll get you through the writing, and you can always change it later!
October 3rd, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)
that's the whole thing - I can't write with the idea that I will change it later. LOL. I'm such a dork.
October 3rd, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC)
well, decide to use it, then!
(you'll still have the power to fix if need be, and as others have pointed out, it won't be a dealbreaker in any case!
October 2nd, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
well... what is it?
October 2nd, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC)
I've been debating whether to post it or not but what the heck.


and it is not a YA about a girl coming into her own.

October 2nd, 2007 03:26 pm (UTC)
Well ... I would say go ahead and use it, who cares, except for that book is SO new. But then again, I assume this isn't a WIP that you are already contracted for? So the earliest it could come out is fall 08 or spring 09, and that is certainly enough distance.

I think you should use it as the name for your work in progress, but share your concerns w/ your agent or editor.
October 3rd, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
Already contracted for? You are such a funny lady. LOL.

Well after all the posts and thinking all day and running into the dang name and word and book of the same name in the most unlikely places, I think I need to come up with something else. Argh.
October 2nd, 2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
Go for it. One year 5 writers in different subgenres from thriller to police procedural all had books titled "Presumed Guilty" 2 were from the same publisher.
October 3rd, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
oh wow - that's interesting. They must have thought it was a lucky title, eh?

See my note in the above comment - I've been haunted by the word all day and I think I need to let it go. Sigh. Which means I need to come up with a new title and it has to be a good one.
October 3rd, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
If the title speaks to you, why do you have to let it go? Or does it speak to the Character? In which case his conflict might suggest a better title.
(Deleted comment)
October 3rd, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
Re: depends
ooh - I like the idea of the good reviews helping my book of the same name.

I don't do well with using a working title. I have to feel like it has a chance of sticking. :-)

this has been an interesting thought process for me though.
October 2nd, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
I agree with all of the above. Go ahead and use it.
October 2nd, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
hard call
Susan, this is a tough question, so, of course, a good question. There are certainly lots of books with same titles, and probably not all that many people who get confused. So it's a question of whether it feels perfect enough that some possible confusion won't bug you. I would go for the working title thing, as many of my books have had titles changed by editors. It seems like a creative hobby for many, so many you can enoy now or anguish later. Is there a way you can add the name to something else? a place, a moment??
I very much love the title Hugging the Rock, so evocative, as well as the book itself. Can't wait for this one!
I just added you to the friends list of my relatively new blog.
October 3rd, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
Re: wrong word
" So it's a question of whether it feels perfect enough that some possible confusion won't bug you"

That is the question in a nutshell and I don't think I could handle it. LOL

Thanks for the kind words on Hugging the Rock. It took a long time for me to come up with that title and then, when they offered me the contract they "suggested" I change the title. Which I did, to my second choice (The Truth About Fathers) but before the contract was complete they asked for the original title back.
October 2nd, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
Hell, yeah. You haven't written it yet, right? So it's how long until publication? Use the title. Unless, of course, it's Sybil. Or maybe Emma.
October 3rd, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
Haven't written it.
Haven't sold it.
Haven't a clue as to what it is really all about.

And LOL, you mean I shouldn't write the story of Emma's sister Sybil who was really Ramona's grandmother and Clementine's second cousin (once removed)?
October 2nd, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
Also: I would recommend you call it James Patterson presents Bloom. Guaranteed best seller. :)
October 3rd, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
LOL. I SO needed to laug right now. thanks. I just paid $10K to have a fence put up and now there's no money left for plants in the yard. I could use a guaranteed best seller. :-)
October 2nd, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
I'd change it. I'm a big fan of having a title no one else has. Say a reader has heard the title from a friend and sits down to Google it. He's actually Googling your book but instead he comes up with someone else's. And then he buys it! Not yours. Theirs.

That's why I try for titles no one else has. But I certainly see your dilemma. And this is just one opinion. Good luck.
October 3rd, 2007 04:45 am (UTC)
Thanks for weighing in. You make some good points.
(Deleted comment)
October 3rd, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
If only I could, Laura. Everywhere I went today I saw the word or the name or the book Bloom so I think it has lost its magic for me. Now I need a new title. Or maybe I'll just work on a different book - one that I actually HAVE a title for.
October 6th, 2007 10:23 am (UTC)
Hello, I'm new to LiveJournal but as far as having the Title set to begin writing it is an important step and even if it is already used in a different genre, it is your genre that will make it distinctive.
When I write I have a title first most of the time and have learned that it really does not matter if someone has a title similar to yours, unless they have a copyright on that title, if that is even possible. My advice is to do it, and do it soon while you are still inspired by this title!
Steve C
servant in Christ
His Servant Ministries
( 25 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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