Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Help Me Name My Baby

I've never been good at titles. Never. Each of my two daughters were born without a name and we had to come to a decision before they were each christened Baby Girl Cebula for life. (Zoe? Eleanor? Naomi? Doctor, what do you think she looks like?)

So, big shocker, I'm struggling with a title for my WIP, and it's nearly time to send this puppy out. It's been called, in order of appearance: Working Title, Pinnacle, Wendy's Novel Rev. 1, The Albatross Around My Neck, Whispered and Revealed,  and now it's Up From Drowning. 

Meh. None of these are really resonating with me. I read this helpful article on choosing a title, but Still. Can't. Decide. 

What's your baby's name?  


Melanie Hooyenga said...

I'm having the same problem. My memoir came to me with a title (which I've since changed and still don't like) but my current wip is eluding me. Nothing sounds right.

Can you give us a paragraph or two about the book so we can help?

Janna Leadbetter said...

From those you listed, I really, really like Up From Drowning. And I think I read part of this, right? I think I had it when it was Pinnacle.

I love coming up with titles. I'm with Melanie; give us a summary - if you're comfortable with that - and we'll do our best to help.

WendyCinNYC said...

Ok, it's written in 3rd person, multiple POV, but this is my MC's trajectory (this isn't my query, that sounds much better):
It’s a story about a woman who places all her energy into her family, only to have the whole thing implode. She’s someone who has always been a pleaser, due in large part to the fact that she had to play the role of diplomat between her own two feuding parents. She’s a transplant from the Chicago suburbs living in Manhattan, and trying very hard to gain acceptance there, whether it be through her only daughter’s fancy private school, or her husband’s prestigious job, or cultivating the right friendships.

Her 12-year-old daughter posts a drunken striptease on the internet to impress a boy, and it’s promptly circulated to everyone with a computer, including the gossip columns and her school’s headmistress. Soon after that, she overhears her husband’s phone conversation with his girlfriend. If she leaves him, that could mean financial ruin, given she hasn’t worked in years.

When she moves in with her mother to decide what to do with her future, the two of them deal with past difficulties and end up providing the support each one needs.

I guess major themes are the slow breakdown of a family (both hers and her mother's, set in 1970s), striving for perfection, and there's some hope and redemption at the end.

Anonymous said...

Right now my baby's names are: Mija, 30 Days to Justice, and The Devil's Playground.

I'm not saying that a title isn't important, but it will most likely change once the book is published. So if you come up with a "good enough name" consider using it.

FYI, I do like Up from Drowning. A LOT.

Melody Platz said...

In my head, my book is just called Jane's novel. But I'm only on page 43. I think the best title I ever came up with was for a short story called, "Between Africa and Paralysis."

The worst was when I wrote a poem about an Italian artist. I loved his work and saw history and life in his work. So I called my poem "Masterpiece". A review nailed me on it. He said, "That takes a lot of gall, naming your work basically the best poem ever."

Melody Platz

>The Writer’s Comfy Corner

WendyCinNYC said...

Auria--I'm glad you like Up from Drowning. I think maybe I'm just sick of looking at that title. I'm fine with a publisher changing it, I just want to give it a good send off, ya know?

I like Between Africa and Paralysis and 30 Days to Justice a lot. Those are intriguing.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with the book I currently have in beta. I've been trying to title it for probably 8 months and I still have nothing.

My current titles are: Spirit Hackers and Mars.

I'd say go with Up From Drowning and know that someone will want to change it anyhow. :-) Any title is better than no title, which is what I currently have.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Up From Drowning sounds interesting. It would certainly make me look at the book.

You helped me with this post. Last night I came up with a title for my wip: The Other Side. Doesn't sound very exciting except that's what people here in Mexico call the US.

Aimlesswriter said...

OooOooo, I love Up from Drowing. It says alot about the story. And its a title that would catch my eye in a store.

WendyCinNYC said...

Melanie--I really like The Other Side. It sounds omnious--like two completely different worlds--and yet timely and relevant.

It almost reminds me of that lady from Poltergeist. "Cross over, children! Come in to the other side!"

Thanks for your input, everyone. I think I'll stay with Up From Drowning for now.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

Wendy, LOL over Poltergeist. Now you've made me afraid of my wip!

I'm glad we could help you. :)

Spy Scribbler said...

I do like Up from Drowning, too! What a great title! Definitely evokes the imagination to want to fill in (or probably, in a reader's case, READ) the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...

I especially like the title "Albatross Around My Neck". *laughs* Hey, at least you have a sense of humour about the thing. But seriously, I think Up From Drowning is a good title. :)

Personally, I suck at titles. But the husband, he is good. Really really good. He ends up titling everything I write.