Tuesday, March 23, 2010
What's in a name?
I'm six weeks away from the deadline for my third Julia book. This is my fourth novel for Tyndale House Publishing, my fifth completed manuscript, and my last CBA offering for a while... Yikes. Somehow this little tome feels important to me.
Can I just say I'm loving this book? It's so much fun to write, and I'm soaking up my final Julia moments. After this, her story is officially over. That makes me sad. And happy. It's bittersweet, I suppose.
Believe it or not, the hardest part of writing this book has been teasing a title out of the pages. Names are so important to me. I can't stand titles that are cheesy, obvious, self-important, or copycats. And I won't even pick up a book if the title is boring, predictable, or cliche. But give me a good title and I'll buy the book just to have it sit on my shelf. It's got to be gripping, evocative, or beautiful in some way. It has to surprise me, to make me stand up and pay attention.
Some titles I love are:
The Inheritance of Loss (Kiran Desai)
My Hands Came Away Red (Lisa McKay)
All Unquiet Things (Anna Jarzab)
The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
Cutting for Stone (Abraham Verghese)
Away (Amy Bloom)
You can use your imaginations to come up with titles I hate. My mom used to tell me that if I can't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all. So this time I'll keep my opinions to myself. Shocking, I know.
Anyway, all of this title agony has got me thinking about names. Naming a child and naming a book are similar endeavors, you know. And just like my boys' names are rich with meaning, history, and family significance, I want my titles to be thick with layers--a riddle to be solved in their own right. So far, all of my titles have had several different meanings. Some of which were revealed to me by readers after the fact! How cool is that?
But I digress. I can't really ask y'all for help since you haven't read the book. Nor am I quite at the point where I can run sample titles by you. And yet, I do have some questions... Humor me--I'm going nuts here! ;)
What are some titles you love?
If you write, how do you come up with your titles?
Are titles even important to you? Or do I have an unusual name fixation???