The book captured me with it’s simplicity and depth. As a writer I learn the most from reading.
Indeed, we all learn from each other. My last post talked about some of my insights having read #GirlontheTrain. This time I want to begin by looking at that amazing title: #MeBeforeYou.
I’d love to ask her. What did you think when you saw the title? My husband, who is a psychiatrist, said, “I was intrigued.” Of course, he sees everything with a bit more depth than I do. Me, I thought, What in the world does that mean?
Having read the book, I realize that the title, MeBeforeYou is not only appropriate, it is the only title for this book. It captures everything and everyone in the story.
As a writer, I find the title one of the most difficult tasks, even harder than writing the novel.
Here are the reasons I find titling my work so hard:
When I’m writing, I have no idea what the essence is. I’m busy creating characters and watching them react to situations. Often my working title never sees the light of day.
For mystery writers titles usually must have the words murder, blood, dead or kill in them somewhere. When mystery readers see the title, they know instantly if that book is for them.
Think about titles you’ve forgotten, Kat Atkinson wrote a wonderful book by the title… OMG, I forgot. Wait, I’ll look it up… I’m back. The title was “Behind the Scenes at the Museum.” Now, I have to tell you, I still don’t know how that title relates to the book. Goldfinch was a great title, not as poignant as Me Before You, but memorable.
So, why is Me Before You such a great title?
- It describes all the characters’s relationships with one another.
(until the end which I won’t give away.) Lou put herself before Will. Will put himself before Lou. Katrina put herself before her family and particularly before Lou. Lou’s mom put herself before her family (as a maryter). Patrick put himself before Lou. It goes on and on. Yes, clearly very few characters put the You first. Some may argue that Will’s dad and even his mom put the You first. As for the rest…
- When thinking about big, tough questions, like assisted suicide, where does the You go? Where does the Me go? These are the questions the reader asks throughout this story.
I’m sure all the moms and dads out there say they put their children first. But, do they really? Most of us put Me before You all the time. Even in the throes of love, we do so. On rare and very special occasions when we are faced with unique decisions, life and death decisions, we change the role and put you first. Rarely, though and sometimes not even then.
For me I continue to think about the characters. I can’t get their dilemma out of my head. I discussed the book with nearly everyone I saw as I read it.
If JoJo should happen to see this post, please tell us. When did that perfect title hit you? Inquiring minds want to know.
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