Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's in a Name?

One thing that's always niggled me about a story is the name. I've never been a dab hand with the name of things. (Which is yet another plus on the side of notebooks instead of typing, as far as I'm concerned. A typed thing has to be named somewhere along the way, often near the beginning. A story in a notebook can be That One in the Purple Notebook until I get it more figured out.)

I've always found naming to be a hard thing to do for a story. It's not easy to find the thing that captures the whole story in one go, or a name that will likely catch someone's interest and imagination. It feels like a very high-pressure task, and so I prefer to let it sit until I've done the most of the drafting or until something brilliant walks in and smacks me on the head. That second one doesn't happen all that often.

Anyone else faced with naming difficulties? Are there any tips or tricks out there for this?


  1. no tips or tricks for me. the name usually just hits me upside the head. occasionally i've brainstormed names with no story in mind and later written a story to fit it. good luck.

  2. For some reason naming the book has never been an issue for me. However, I'm sure I'll write a book sometime and have a hard time with it. To me, a name in a book has to work double time. It needs to mean more than one thing, and it needs to get your reader to ask questions so they open the book!

  3. I suck rocks at titling my manuscripts.
    It is super subjective. I love the title of my current novel (the finished one). It is called "With A Name Like Love". My agent thinks the title is great, but I have had a few writing friends gather courage to tell me it doesn't work for them.

    Go with your gut and know the editor may change it anyway. Oh well :D

  4. Tess: I liked the title. I would totally pick that book up to read the back. :-)