During a number of interviews, I’ve been asked how I came up with the title of The Clock Strikes Midnight. As I work on my new book, I wonder about this question. Actually I wonder about the bigger question.
I can share a little about how I’ve come up with titles. My guess is the authors out there have different stories. First, most of us begin with an idea and a working title. Being a pantster writer (a writer who doesn’t use an outline. See this blog post on that topic), my idea changes as I write.
With The Clock Strikes Midnight, the story began in one direction and then I turned it upside down. In the beginning the working title was “Drawn Curtains.” That made sense to start with, but later it didn’t.
With The e-Murderer the original working title was The Internet Murderer. Again, I had an idea but the title was clearly not catchy enough and really didn’t snag the essence of the story.
My new work has a working title, 5 Cans of Crazy. I loved that statement when I heard it, but now that I’m over 200 pages into the writing of the book, I’m realizing that title may not work.
So, what are my tips:
1) Begin with a working title but don’t get too attached to it.
2) Once the book is finished, let it rest and allow your mind to play with the story.
3) Think about the major theme or thread running through your story.
4) Allow your creative juices to flow. Don’t force it but mull over it. I have never been successful at writing down a bunch of ideas or brainstorming by myself. I’m great at brainstorming in groups. But, alone, I’m no good. It’s best for me to allow my subconscious to play with the thoughts.
5) When it comes, and it will come, grab it.
How did you go about finding the perfect title?