Recently we discussed the dilemma of what to do when you don’t have a decent title for your novel. This was raised by one of my Loyal Blog Readers, Cathi. I suggested that if Cathi could tell us a bit more about her novel, we might run a contest.
Cathi emailed me over the weekend with the details. She’s writing a young-adult fantasy. Here’s the storyline:
A young man learns he is part of a family harboring knowledge of The Black Dark, a place where people exist after death.
This is a series and Cathi is reserving the title THE BLACK DARK for the last book in the series.
I hereby declare a contest to name the first book in Cathi’s series. Here are the rules:
- The contest runs for a week and will end at midnight Pacific time on Monday night, February 7, 2011.
- The winner will be determined by Cathi and her decision is final. If she decides that there is no winner, then there is no winner. But she can’t choose more than one winner.
- The winner doesn’t have to be a title that Cathi will actually use. It just has to be the best idea of the lot, in Cathi’s opinion.
- The winner gets a free critique by me of the first five pages of their novel.
- Cathi is not eligible to win, for obvious reasons.
Some thoughts on titling a book:
Look for something emotively compelling. Or look for something that arouses curiosity. Or look for something that suggests the actual story. Or tell something about the main character. Or do something completely different.
Coming up with titles is hard. Coming up with titles about a book you’ve been laboring over for five years is really hard. Somehow, it’s easier when you don’t know that much about the story and you aren’t all that invested emotionally in it. Cathi’s given us a clear one-sentence summary of her book. That may just be enough to come up with a title. At the very least, it’ll jiggle some of Cathi’s neurons and possibly suggest a title she can use.
So have at it, Loyal Blog Readers! Post your suggested titles here as a comment and we’ll let Cathi decide if any of them can break her mental fogjam over this pesky title thing.